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written and composed by Stephen C. Foster." The Springtime song is not recorded in the Copyright Office in Washington, but is given by Morrison Foster in his collected songs, and was presumably published in this year or just previous.
The industry with which Stephen Foster set out on his career as a professional song-writer does not seem to have endured for long. After the second year, the output of songs grows meagre. Only three songs were published in the next year (1852), although one of them is among his best, "Massa's in de Cold, Cold Ground." Like many of the other negro songs, it was sung by Christy's Minstrels, being among those mentioned by Foster as having been sung by Christy in advance of publication. This poignant song of sorrow is one of the loveliest of Foster's melodies:
Round de meadows am a-ringing
De darkey's mournful song, While de mocking-bird am singing,
Happy as de day am long,
Where de ivy am a-creeping,
O'er de grassy mound, Dare old massa am a-sleeping,
Sleeping in de cold, cold ground.
Down in de corn-field,
Hear dat mournful sound, All de darkeys am a-weeping,
Massa's in de cold, cold ground.
With one exception, all of the songs composed from 1852 to 1860, a period of nine years, were published by Firth, Pond & Co., of New York.
Five new songs appeared in 1853, as well as a piano piece, "Holiday Schottische," and "The Old Folks Quadrille," "Introducing 'Old Folks at Home,' 'Oh Boys, Carry Me 'Long,' 'Nelly Bly,' 'Farewell, My Lilly Dear,' and 'Cane Brake Jig.' " W. C. Peters also published a version of "Uncle Ned" with "sacred" [?] words: