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Author Topic: Negro Prison Blues and Songs  (Read 14592 times)

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Offline repeater

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Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« on: January 31, 2010, 07:07:49 AM »
I hope this is the right place to seek lyrics to the following songs from Negro Prison Blues and Songs (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NVIXRI/), which Alan Lomax recorded, I believe, circa 1947.  

Also, I'd be grateful for any background information on the album (e.g., which prisons are involved, what the prisoners were working on, &c.)--the CD I have doesn't have much in the way of liner notes.

Many thanks for any assistance!

1. Murder's Home
2. No More, My Lawd
3. Old Alabama
4. Black Woman
5. Jumpin' Judy
6. Whoa Buck
7. Prettiest Train
8. Old Dollar Mamie
9. It Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad
10. Rosie
11. Levee Camp Holler
12. What Makes a Work Song Leader?
13. Early in the Mornin'
14. How I Got in the Penitentiary
15. Tangle Eye Blues
16. Stackerlee
17. Prison Blues
18. Duckin' and Dodgin'
19. My Baby Got to Go
20. Penitentiary Blues
21. Lonesome Blues
22. They'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
23. Rock Me Mama
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 07:10:42 AM by repeater »

Offline Slack

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 07:17:55 AM »
Welcome to WeenieCampbell repeater.

Something to keep in mind -- we are not a lyrics service, just a group of individuals with a keen interest in country blues. The best way to get help with lyrics is to show you've done some of the grunt work yourself e.g. post The song and lyrics that you have figured out and point out any problem areas where you cannot figure them out on your own.

Cheers,
slack

Offline maddoggirl

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 12:44:30 AM »
After a little digging, I found a (frustratingly terse) artist list here http://www.tunesbag.com/playlist-negro-prison-blues-and-songs-various-artists-m8359

1    The Murderer's Home / Jimpson and Group    
2    No More, My Lord / Jimpson and Group    
3    Old Alabama / B.B. and Group    
4    Black Woman / B.B. and Group    
5    Jumpin' Judy / Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson    
6    Whoa Buck / C.B.    
7    Prettiest Train / "22"    
8    Old Dollar Mamie / "22"    
9    It Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad / "22"    
10    Rosie / C.B. and Axe Gang    
11    Levee Camp Holler (interview) / D.W. "Bama" Stuart    
12    What Makes a Work Song Leader? (interview) / D.W. "Bama" Stuart    
13    Early in the Mornin' / "22", Little Red, Tangle Eye & Hard Hair    
14    How I Got in the Penitentiary (interview) / D.W. "Bama" Stuart    
15    Tangle Eye Blues / Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson    
16    Stackerlee / D.W. "Bama" Stuart    
17    Prison Blues / Alex    
18    Duckin' and Dodgin' / Hogman Maxey    
19    My Baby Got to Go / John Henry Jackson    
20    Penitentiary Blues / Otis Webster
21    Lonesome Blues / Guitar Welch    
22    They'll Miss Me When I'm Gone / Jesse Butcher
23    Rock Me Mama / Hogman Maxey    

As for the lyrics, I've had this album a long time and it's one of my all-time favourites. I could probably help you fill in a lot of the words, but as the previous poster said, a base to work from would save a lot of trouble. As for the prisons, I don't know which release you have, but mine says on the front that they were recorded at the Mississippi and Louisiana State Penitentiaries, ie. Parchman Farm and Angola, during 1947-48. Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 12:46:14 AM by maddoggirl »
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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 03:52:45 AM »
This is a mixture of Lomax recordings and those made by Harry Oster in 1959, so I guess Arhoolie must have licensed out the material.

Hard to believe that in two months it will be forty years since Chris S announced he had purchased Oster?s entire recordings.

Offline maddoggirl

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 11:25:09 AM »
This is a mixture of Lomax recordings and those made by Harry Oster in 1959, so I guess Arhoolie must have licensed out the material.

Hard to believe that in two months it will be forty years since Chris S announced he had purchased Oster?s entire recordings.


Hmm, the edition I have makes no mention of anyone but Lomax as the recorder and any dates beyond 1948, but actually it does make sense if some of them are Oster, because the solo recordings sound considerably cleaner. I assume it is the latter half that are the Oster ones?

I would really love to get a comprehensive approximation of the lyrics to the work songs and hollers because I'm fairly certain that they don't yet exist (there are some song lyrics filed under the same or similar names, but they are not the versions that appear on the CD). As I said, I've teased out a good portion of the words through having listened to the album so many times, but to get it completed and set down would be brilliant. I might see if I could start us off myself, but I'm midway through uni term so not as much spare time as I would like  :D
rambling about movies, from 1930 on up at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com/

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 11:36:35 AM »
You can see here http://www.wirz.de/music/osterfrm.htm the Oster recordings. Harry Oster was a very interesting person.

Online Johnm

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 04:24:35 PM »
You are right, Bunker Hill, that Dr. Harry Oster was indeed a very interesting man.  I never realized he had put out an album of himself playing and singing until looking at Stefan's discography.  Dr. Oster must have had a quality that put the musicians he recorded at their ease.  All of the great performances that he recorded by Robert Pete Williams, Smoky Babe, Snooks Eaglin, Herman E. Johnson, Butch Cage and Willie Thomas and others seem to share a wonderfully relaxed and unself-conscious (except in a beneficial way) quality.  These musicians sound utterly focused on their art and in touch with it.  I suppose it could be something as obvious as the fact that he liked and valued them and what they did, and they responded in kind.  In any event, you can't argue with the musical results of his recordings--they're superlative.  I would also be interested to know why he stopped collecting and recording music when he left Louisiana for Iowa.  Disillusionment?
Disappointment?  I don't know, but I'm very, very thankful for the work that he did and the music and musicians he made available via recordings.
All best,
Johnm    
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 07:17:55 PM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 10:51:31 AM »
I would also be interested to know why he stopped collecting and recording music when he left Louisiana for Iowa.  Disillusionment? Disappointment?  I don't know, but I'm very, very thankful for the work that he did and the music and musicians he made available via recordings.
All Chris S. had to say at the time was that "On May 1st 1970 Arhoolie Records purchased the entire Folklyric catalog from Dr. Harry Oster" and then went on to state that Arhoolie "plans to to re-release most of the catalog over the next several years"...and he was as good as his word. :)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 11:35:58 AM »
Regarding lyrics to the songs on the CD cited at the top of this thread. The first 17 songs on the CD are taken from a CD in the Alan Lomax Collection called Prison Songs - Volume 1 - Murderous Home, put out on Rounder Records. As with all the volumes from the Alan Lomax Collection I've seen, the CD includes meticulously detailed notes including recording details and lyric transcriptions for all 17 songs. So it's really worth getting the music from the label that put it out (and quite possibly didn't license it to anyone else). Save yourself a lot of work! Some of the booklets for these and other Library of Congress and field recording reissues are hard to get back into the CD case the notes are so detailed.

Offline repeater

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2010, 12:47:23 AM »
Regarding lyrics to the songs on the CD cited at the top of this thread. The first 17 songs on the CD are taken from a CD in the Alan Lomax Collection called Prison Songs - Volume 1 - Murderous Home, put out on Rounder Records. As with all the volumes from the Alan Lomax Collection I've seen, the CD includes meticulously detailed notes including recording details and lyric transcriptions for all 17 songs. So it's really worth getting the music from the label that put it out (and quite possibly didn't license it to anyone else). Save yourself a lot of work! Some of the booklets for these and other Library of Congress and field recording reissues are hard to get back into the CD case the notes are so detailed.

Thanks, I'll have to pick up this version.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2010, 05:13:25 AM »
Quote
I don't know, but I'm very, very thankful for the work that he did and the music and musicians he made available via recordings.

Amen to that! He recorded some of my favorite rekuds!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline TSF

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Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2016, 07:19:14 AM »
Hi All

I came here looking for these lyrics a few years ago and eventually decided to have a go at transcribing them myself. Lomax's book The Land Where the Blues Began discusses some of these recordings and the conditions these prisoners lived in. W.D. "Bama" Stuart is pictured on the cover of the copy I have (with the prisoner stripes on his pants photoshopped out) and Lomax discusses him at some length. Transcriptions of part of his Levee Camp Holler, most of Stackerlee and also part of another song (I'm Goin' Home), not included on this album, are provided in the book.

A big collection of recordings from these same sessions are available on Lomax's Global Jukebox, here:
Parchman Farm 1947:http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-audio-ix.do?ix=recording&id=10268&idType=sessionId&sortBy=abc
Parchman Farm 1948: http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-audio-ix.do?ix=recording&id=10265&idType=sessionId&sortBy=abc

From the credits provided on the website above, combined with some info in Lomax's book cited above, we can add some detail to the credits on the album (at least the tracks recorded by Lomax). Thanks to maddoggirl for the start.

1    The Murderer's Home / Henry "Jimpson" Wallace and Group   
2    No More, My Lord / Henry "Jimpson" Wallace (not with group, an alternate take with a group can be found in 1948 link above)       
3    Old Alabama / Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group   
4    Black Woman / Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group   
5    Jumpin' Judy / Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson, Willy "Hard Hat" Lacey, Benny Will "22" Richardson* and Elnora "Fuzzy Red" McGhee 
6    Whoa, Buck / C.B. "88" Cook** 
7    Prettiest Train / Benny Will "22" Richardson and Group
8    Old Dollar Mamie / Benny Will "22" Richardson and Group     
9    It Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad / Benny Will "22" Richardson and Group   
10    Rosie / C.B. "88" Cook and Axe Gang   
11    Levee Camp Holler / W.D. "Bama" Stuart   
12    What Makes a Work Song Leader? (interview) / W.D. "Bama" Stuart   
13    Early in the Mornin' / Benny Will "22" Richardson, Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson, Willy "Hard Hat" Lacey, "Little Red"
14    How I Got in the Penitentiary (interview) / W.D. "Bama" Stuart   
15    Tangle Eye Blues / Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson 
16    Stackerlee / W.D. "Bama" Stuart   
17    Prison Blues / Clarence "Alex" Alexander   
18    Duckin' and Dodgin' / Hogman Maxey   
19    My Baby Got to Go / John Henry Jackson   
20    Penitentiary Blues / Otis Webster
21    Lonesome Blues / Guitar Welch   
22    They'll Miss Me When I'm Gone / Jesse Butcher
23    Rock Me Mama / Hogman Maxey   

*He was nicknamed "22" since he was sentenced to 22 years at Parchman, according to Lomax's book.
** Presumably sentenced to 88 years?

As for the transcriptions, I mostly listen to the work songs recorded by Lomax on this album. As such I've only bothered with tracks 1-16. I should point out that I frequently miss-hear lyrics and I had a stab where I was uncertain, so there may be some lines that are way off. I would love to know what they are saying in Old Alabama, I can only make out snippets so I've omitted this track as well. I've indicated my best guess at what type of work song each track is in brackets next to each title. I would appreciate being corrected where wrong and to have the blanks filled in.

1    The Murderer's Home / Henry "Jimpson" Wallace and Group (field holler)

   I ain't got long, oh mama
   I ain't got long, I ain't got long
   I ain't got long at the murderer's home

   Pray for me, oh mama
   Pray for me, you can pray for me
   Lord, I got a long haul over, I can't go free

2    No More, My Lord / Henry "Jimpson" Wallace (Axe Song)

   No more my lord, no more my lord
   Lord I'll never turn back no more

   I found Daniel [?near a resting place?]
   And he have made me glad

   No more my lord, no more my lord
   Lord I'll never turn back no more

   Jesus, [say *or* a] man, I am looking for
   Can you tell me where he's gone?

   Go down, go down in my flower yard
   And perhaps you may find, find him there

3    Old Alabama / Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group (Axe Song)

   Old Alabama joins the state of Florida  2x
   At Mobile, Lord-y, at Mobile

   Old Alabama is a hog-killing country  2x
   Every Fall, Lord-y, every Fall

   Did you hear about that waterboy getting drownded  2x
   Mobile Bay, Lord-y, Mobile Bay

   Did you hear about the men all gonna leave you  3x
   Next pay day, Lord-y, next pay day

   Did you hear about Louella Wallace  3x
   Poor gal dead, Lord-y, poor gal dead

4    Black Woman / Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group (Axe Song)

   I don't want no jet black woman, ("Why?"), oh she's too mean, oh she's too mean
   I don't want no jet black woman, oh she's too mean, lord lord, she's too mean

   I don't want no sugar in my coffee it makes me mean, it makes me mean
   I don't want no sugar in my coffee it makes me mean, lord lord, it makes me mean

   I got a bulldog he weighs 500 in my backyard, lord lord, in my backyard
   I got a bulldog he weighs 500 in my backyard, oh lord, in my backyard

   When he barks he roars like thunder up in the clouds, lord lord, all in the clouds
   When he barks he roars like thunder up in the clouds, lord lord, all in the clouds

   When you meet my long haired woman ("Do what?") just bow your head, lord lord, just bow your head
   When you meet my long haired woman, oh bow your head, lord lord, just bow your head

   I don't want no hard headed woman, ("Why?"), oh she's too mean, she's too mean
   I don't want no hard headed woman, oh she's too mean, lord lord, she's too mean ("All right now!")

5    Jumpin' Judy / Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson, Willy "Hard Hat" Lacey, Benny Will "22" Richardson and Elnora "Fuzzy Red" McGhee  (Axe Song)

               ....oh well it's jumpin' Jumpin' Judy
   Oh well it's jumpin' Jumpin' Judy, boys she was a mighty fine girl
   Oh well she brought that jumpin', oh well she brought that jumpin'
   Oh well she brought that jumpin', baby to the whole wide world

   Oh well she brought it in the morning, oh well she brought it in the morning
   Oh well she brought it in the morning, baby just a little 'fore day
   You catch the Illinois Central, you catch the Illinois Central
   You catch the Illinois Central, baby going to [Kankakee? (IC has a station in Kanakee, IL) *or* carry the key?]

   Oh well yonder comes old Rosie, oh well yonder comes old Rosie
   Oh boys yonder comes Rosie, buddy how in the world do you know?
   Oh well I knowed her by her apron, oh well I knowed her by her apron ("Sing it.")
   Oh boys I knowed her by her apron, baby and the dress that she wore

   Oh well she wore a Mother Hubbard, oh well she wore a Mother Hubbard
   Oh boys she wore a Mother Hubbard, baby like a morning gown
   Oh well I heard her tell  the sergeant, oh well I heard her tell  the sergeant
   Oh boy I heard her call  the sergeant: "Well I come out for my man.

   "Poor boy, he's been here rolling, poor boy he's been here rolling
   Poor boy's been here rolling, waiting for this day so long.
   Oh well I know he's done got sorry, oh well I know he's done got sorry
   Oh well I know he's done got sorry, buddy that he's ever gone wrong"

6    Whoa, Buck / C.B. "88" Cook (Mule driving song)

   Sometimes I plough the old gray mare and then I'll plough the [?]
   When I make my 50 cent, lord, I'll carry it home to Rosie

   ("Come on here, old mule!")

   Somebody stole my old coon dog, I wish he'd bring him back
   He run down [?...a little until they crack?]

   ("All right there, old Flattop, we got to make some corn this year, boy.")

   I've been rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling
   ['Cause *or* Boys] we've got to make that money, we've got to carry it home to Rosie

   Black girl wear the Brogan shoes, yellow girl wear the slippers
   I don't care what old Flat say, we've got to [?ride on them like a zephyr :D ?]

   ("Come on here, boy!")
    ("Well we gotta get drunk [?] tonight, let's save up a little change")

   Asked that girl to marry me, boys, what do you reckon she said?
   "C.B. I would not have you if all the rest was dead."
 
   ("Boys you know I'm in bad shape tonight, I'm telling you me and that girl is sure going to have a fight")
    ("What's the matter John?"
   "I don't know Bill..."
   "You got any chewing tobacco over there?"
   "No boy, I got some of the best old [roll?] that you ever tangled in your teeth."
   "Come up over there, old Blue - [?stagger?] back there, Broad...
   Boys, I'm having a tough time with this, I'm telling you...
   Baby I'll make this load alright, me and old Flattop got to get a little gin then.
   Then we're goin down in [???] Bottom, down there and get us a few of them hamburgers, you know.")

   I'm gonna keep on a-talking, I ain't gonna sing no more
   When this is over, boys, I've got to let it go

7    Prettiest Train / Benny Will "22" Richardson and Group (Hoe Song)

   Prettiest train that I ever seen, man
   Prettiest train that I ever seen
   Prettiest train that I ever seen, I declare he run down from Jackson, Jackson to New Orleans
   New Orleans, oh New Orleans, I declare now: ran out from Jackson, Jackson to New Orleans

   Mattie, when you marry a railroad man gal ("Tell me, tell me, tell me!")
   Mattie, when you marry a railroad man
   Mattie when you marry a railroad man, I declare now: every day is Sunday, a dollar in your hand ("Yes, yes!")
   In your hand, in your hand, I declare now: every day is Sunday, a dollar in your hand

   Mattie when you marry yourself a convict man
   Mattie when you marry a convict man
   Mattie when you marry yourself a convict man, I declare now: every day is Monday, a hoe handle in your hand
   In your hand, in your hand, I declare now: every day is Monday, a hoe handle in your hand ("Talk to her, talk to her!")

   Prettiest woman that I ever seen gal
   Prettiest woman that I ever seen
   The prettiest woman that I ever seen, I declare now: round Fourth Street and [?] New Orleans
   New Orleans, New Orleans, I declare now: round Fourth Street and [?] New Orleans ("Call me now!")

   You go to back to the Delta show your clothes man ("Yes I do")
   You go to (down) back to the Delta show your clothes
   You go back to the Delta show your clothes, I declare now: [?I go to Jackson..track down that jellyroll?]
   [?], I declare now: [I go to..?] that jellyroll ("Call me, call me, call me!")
   
   You go to Memphis don't you hang around man
   You go to Memphis don't you hang around
   You go to Memphis don't you hang around, I declare around now: police will catch you and you workhouse bound
   Workhouse bound, yeah workhouse bound, I declare now: I declare now police will catch you and you workhouse bound

8    Old Dollar Mamie / Benny Will "22" Richardson and Group (Hoe Song)

                 ...Mamie told her old Dollar Bob, well
   Old Dollar Mamie told her old Dollar Bob, well
   Old Dollar Mamie told her old Dollar Bob, well
   The dress she want cost a dollar a yard, well
   Oh dollar a yard, baby, Oh a dollar a yard, well
   The dress she want cost a dollar a yard, well

   Well you hush hush, Mamie, don't you, don't say no word
   Hush hush, Mamie, don't you, don't say no word, when you
   Hush hush, Mamie, don't you, don't say a word baby
   You shall have it, if it's in this world*
   If it's in this world, if it's in this world
   You shall have it if it's, well in the world, well
   
   [can't make out next verse]

   I'm going to Memphis when I get parole, well
   Oh come to Memphis when I get parole, baby
   I'm going to Memphis when I, well get parole, well
   Stand on the levee hear those big boats blow, well
   The big boats blowin', the big boats blowin'
   Go to the levee and hear, those big boats blow, well

   Well the Katy left Memphis with a, with a hundred men, well
   Well the Katy left Memphis with a, with a hundred men, well
   Well the Katy left Memphis with a, with a hundred men, well
   In [?] City she didn't have but ten, well
   Didn't have but ten, didn't have but ten, well
   In [?] City she didn't have but ten, well

   Raise up higher, let 'um, drop 'em down, well
   Well Raise up up higher, let 'um, drop 'em down, well
   Well you Raise up up higher, let 'um, drop 'em down, well
   Well, you won't know the difference when the sun goes down, well
   When the sun goes down, baby, when the sun goes down, well
   Well, you won't know the difference when the sun goes down, well

   *Lomax quotes this as Vicksburg

9    It Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad / Benny Will "22" Richardson and Group   (Hoe song? Sounds like their breaking rocks)

   It makes a long time man feel bad
   It makes a long time man feel bad
   It makes a long time man feel bad
   Oh my lordie, to be [here, working here?] far from home

   Oh Captain [George?] he was a hard driving man ("Yes, he was!")
   Oh Captain [George?] he was a hard driving man
   Oh Captain [George?] he was a hard driving man, oh my lordie
   [?.. watch you die on the road?]

   Oh Captain [George?]... so hard
   Oh Captain [George?]... so hard
   Oh Captain [George?]... well so hard, oh my lordie
   [I saw him go, walking down the road?]

   Would hate to [?] on the road somewhere
   Would hate to [?] on the road somewhere
   Would hate to [?] on the road somewhere, oh my lordie
   [?.. watch you die on the road?]

10    Rosie / C.B. "88" Cook and Axe Gang (Axe Song)

   Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man
   Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man
   Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man
   Every day is Sunday, a dollar in your hand
   In your hand, lordie, in your hand
   Every day is Sunday, a dollar in your hand

   Stick to the promise, girl, that you made me
   Stick to the promise, girl, that you made me
   Stick to the promise, girl, that you made me
   Weren't gonna marry 'till I go free
   I go free, lordie, I go free
   Weren't gonna marry 'till I go free

   Woah Rosie, oh lord gal
   Woah Rosie, oh lord gal

   When she walks she really rock behind
   When she walks she really rock behind
   Ain't that enough to worry a convict's mind?
   Ain't that enough to worry a convict's mind?

   Woah Rosie, oh lord gal
   Woah Rosie, oh lord gal

   Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man
   Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man
   Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man
   Every day is Sunday, a dollar in your hand

   Woah Rosie, oh lord girl
   Woah Rosie, oh lord girl
   Woah Rosie, oh lord girl...

11    Levee Camp Holler / W.D. "Bama" Stuart

   Well, lord I woke up this morning, man I was feeling bad
   Woah babe I was feeling bad
   Well I was thinking about the good times lord I once have had

   Boys, well she brought my breakfast this morning and she didn't know my name, she didn't know my name
   She said: "Give it to the long line skinner with the [brass knob hands*?]"
   She said: "Give it to the long line skinner with the [brass knob hands?]"

   Boys if you want to go down to Mister Charlie and don't get hurt
   Go down on Monday morning when the boys' at work, you'll be alright, ooh, you'll be alright

   Boys I've got a woman up the right of way looking for me, looking for me, lord lord
   Boys she's looking for me, she's looking for me... Lord I'm going home 'fore long...

   Bye bye, bye bye baby, I'll be home 'fore long

   *Lomax quotes this as "haaamme"

12    What Makes a Work Song Leader? (interview) / W.D. "Bama" Stuart 
 
13    Early in the Mornin' / Benny Will "22" Richardson, Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson, Willy "Hard Hat" Lacey, "Little Red" (Axe Song)*

   Well it's early in mor-, in the morning, baby when I rise, lordie mama
   Well it's early in the mor-, well in the morning, well when I rise, well
   Well it's early in the mor-, well in the morning, baby when I rise lordie baby

   [Well I have a little roller right by right side?]**, well
   Right by my side lordie baby
   Right by my right side lordie sugar
   Well I have a little roller right by my right side, well

   Well lord, lordie Ro- lordie Berta oh lord, he didn't told her (Can you hear me babe?)
   Well lord, lordie Rosie was a good old gal, well

   Well now whosonever told that he told a
   He told a dirty lie, baby
   Well now whosonever  told that he told a
   He told a dirty lie, baby
   Well now whosonever told that he told a
   He told a dirty lie, baby
   Well the eagle on the dollar mama
   He's gonna rise and fly, well

   He's gonna rise and fly, oh sugar (you hear me?)
   He's gonna rise and fly, oh baby
   Well the eagle on the dol-, on the dollar mama
   He's gonna rise and fly, well

   Well lord Rose-, lordie Rosie
   Well lord, gal lordie baby
   Well lord, lord, lordie sugar
   Was a good old gal, well

   Well it's rocks and gravel to make a, make a solid road, sugar (well)
   It takes a rock and lots of gravel to make a, make a solid road, well
   It takes a rock and bit of gravel (lots of gravel) to make a solid road, lordie sugar
   It takes a good looking woman to make a, to make a good looking whore, well

   It makes a good looking whore baby (Oh lord baby)
   It makes a good looking- lordie sugar (Oh lord sugar)
   It takes a good looking oh woman, to make a good looking whore, well

   Well lord, lordie Rosie
   Well lord, lordie sugar (can't you see?)
   Well lord, lordie Rosie
   Well lord Rose-, lordie Rosie
   Was a good old gal, well

   Boys, the perckerwood a-peckin' on the
   On the schoolhouse doors, sugar
   Well the perckerwood peckin' on the
   On the schoolhouse doors, well
   Well the perckerwood a-pecks on the
   On the schoolhouse doors, baby
   Well he pecked so hard, so hard baby till his pecker got sore, well

   Untill his pecker got sore, baby
   Untill his pecker got sore, lordie sugar
   Well he pecked so hard, mama, untill his pecker got sore, well

   Well lord Ro-, lordie Rosie
   Well lord, girl (don't you hear me now?)
   Well lord, lordie Rosie (Baby)
   Was a good old gal, well

   Well I ain't been to Georgia, bubba, but I've been told, sugar
   Well I ain't been to Geor- to Georgia, but I've been told, well
   Well I ainn't been to Geor- been to Georgia, but I've been told, lordie woman
   Well those Georgia women got a, got a sweet jelly roll, well

   She got a sweet jelly roll, mama (oh lord baby)
   She got a sweet jelly roll, sugar (oh lord now)
   Well those Georgia woman (oh lord baby) got a, got a sweet jelly roll, well

   Well lord Ro-, lordie Rosie
   Well lord, girl (looking forward to you, babe)
   Well lord, lord woman (well Rosie)
   Was a good old gal, well

   *Basically full transcription given in Lomax book. My take given here.
   **Lomax quotes this as something like "I have misery, Berta, right in my side"

14    How I Got in the Penitentiary (interview) / W.D. "Bama" Stuart
   
15    Tangle Eye Blues / Walter "Tangle Eye" Jackson

   Well I wonder will I ever get back home...
   Well it must have been the devil that fooled me here
   I'm all down and out...

   Lord if I ever get back home, I'll never do wrong
   Well if I can just make it home I won't do wrong no more
   Lord I won't do wrong no more

   Lord I left Mae-Willie and the baby in the courthouse crying: "Daddy please don't go"
   Lord I'll be back home soon
   Lord I'll be home one day 'fore long - just wait for me

   Lord I've been here rolling for this day so long
   Lord I'm all down and out... My friends won't come see lord what's done happened to me

   Lord if I'd listened to what my dear old mother said..
   Well she's dead and gone
   Oh, she's dead and gone
   What am I gonna do now?

16    Stackerlee / W.D. "Bama" Stuart*

   ...Stackerlee, he was a bad man, he wanted the whole round world to know
   He toted a .32-20 and smokeless .44

   Now Stackerlee, lord and Billy Lyon they was gambling early one day
   Stackerlee lose his money and he throwed the cards away

   Now Stackerlee, he told Billy Lyon: "Billy, I'm sure gon' take your life.
   You have winned my money, Stack, and now I've found a foul dice"

   Now Billy Lyon, he told Stackerlee, he said: "Stack, please don't take my life
   I have two little children and my poor little weasley wife

   "Now one of them is a boy, Stack and the other one is a girl...
   But if you love your children, Billy Lyon, you're gonna have to meet them in the other world."

   Now Stackerlee he told Billy Lyon: "Billy, I thought you was a gamblin' man
   You know you passed leaves in a second and you know you done fouled your hand

   Now Stackerlee he shot Billy Lyon way down on that barroom floor
   It was early one morning, just about fifteen to four

   Now Billy Lyon' mother she comes running, she said: "Lord, have mercy on my son.
   Poor Billy Lyon' done got murdered and I know he didn't have his gun."

   Alberta, lord Alberta, baby don't you hear me calling you?
   But you're three times seven, Alberta, and you know what you want to do

   I'm gonna call up the undertaker, I'm gonna ring up Mister Morgue
   I'm gonna ask those people what will Alberta's funeral cost

   I want a $200 coffin, lord I want a hundred dollar hearse
   And that will put Alberta, I know six feet in the earth

   Now give me water when lord I'm thirsty, give me whiskey when I die
   Give me Alberta when I need her, and heaven when I die

   Now when I gets all up in glory, lord I'm gonna sit up on the golden stool
   And I'm gonna ask St. Gabriel to blow me the worried blues

   *Reasonably full transcription given in Lomax book. Remainder of verses added here.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 08:07:52 AM by TSF »

Offline Rivers

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  • I like chicken pie
Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2016, 06:28:27 PM »
Good work TSF

Offline frankie

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Old Alabama - Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2016, 11:11:26 AM »
3    Old Alabama / Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group (Axe Song)

   (Please help!)

Old Alabama - Dan "B.B." Barnes and Group

Old Alabama joins the state of Florida  2x
At Mobile, Lord-y, at Mobile

Old Alabama is a hog-killing country  2x
Every Fall, Lord-y, every Fall

Did you hear about that waterboy getting drownded  2x
Mobile Bay, Lord-y, Mobile Bay

Did you hear about the men all gonna leave you  3x
Next pay day, Lord-y, next pay day

Did you hear about Louella Wallace  3x
Poor gal dead, Lord-y, poor gal dead

Offline TSF

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Negro Prison Blues and Songs
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2016, 08:10:11 AM »
Thanks Frankie! Had a listen and it looks spot on to me. I've added it to my post

 


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