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American Ballads and Folk Songs
I'm a-hoein' across, I'm a-hoein' aroun', I'm a-cleanin' up some mo' new groun'. Whar I lif so hard, I lif' so free, Dat my sins rise up in front er me!
But some er dese days my time will come, I'll year dat bugle, I'll year dat drum, I'll see dem armies a-marchin' along, I'll lif my head en jine der song— I'll dine no mo' behin' dat tree, Wen de angels flock fer to wait on me!
Polk Miller, Richmond, Virginia, who interpreted Negro songs successfully on the platform, contributed these stanzas:
I run down to de ribber, but I couldn't get across, I jumped 'pon a hog and thought he was a hoss!
As I was goin' through the fiel' A black snake bit me 'pon my heel, Dat serpent he did 'ceive a shock, For de nigger's heel's as hard as a rock.
As I was passin' Wright's old mill, My team got balked at de foot o' de hill, I hollered to de driver, "Dat won't do; I must shove an' so mus' you."
PICK A BALE O' COTTON
Although no man has ever hand-picked more than eight hundred pounds of cotton a day, this Negro work song, that seems to be one of the survivors of the Civil War and slavery, speaks of a personal acquaintance, not only with one but with many men and women