I'm quite sure you've heard the story
Of that Dry Creek Eaton clan;
God in Heaven knows they're innocent
Of murdering that revenue man.
They were riding home from Booneville,
When they heard to their surprise,
Screaming roars from many a shotgun,
Then they heard his dying cries.
His face was turned towards the Eatons,
He was shot right in the back;
When the sheriff ran to meet him,
He almost died right in his tracks.
Rememering their reputations,
These Eatons ran away to hide,
Knowing that they was innocent,
By others' hands the man had died.
Officers searched* the county over,
Not a sign of them was found;
They called out one hundred soldiers,
Trying to find their hiding ground.
When the soldiers could not find them,
Many a friend was put in jail,
Knowing the Eatons would surrender
When their friends could not make bail.
They are sentenced to the penitentiary
For the rest of their lives,
Leaving their little children,
Their dear old homes and loving wives.
* sung as a portmanteau word (sort of like 'offisearched')
On 23 May 1939, John Lomax recorded a black convict named Roger 'Burn Down'
Garnett in Parchman, doing 'Lighthouse Blues' (very fine, and unusual in
that it seems to be based on Willie Baker's recording of 'Weak Minded
Woman'), 'Birmingham Jail' (possibly from Darby and Tarlton's recording),
and 'Eaton Clan', which runs as follows (my transcription):.