Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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BIRTH AND GROWTH OF CERTAIN SONGS.                    85
The love of her mother now in Heaven will welcome her from the heartless world. "Mother, rock me in the cradle, all the day/' was her longing for the purity of infancy, where there was no blight or stain, when the crooning voice of her mother sang soothing lulla´┐Żbies, sweetly lulling her to a blameless sleep.
"O mother, don't you love your darling child? O rock me in the cradle all the day!"
There would be some consolation in the assurance that mother loved her "darling child," who, though she had left the paths her mother had shown her and begged her to tread, though the stain of impurity was upon her soul, still was her mother^ darling child.
"You niay lay me down to sleep, my mother, dear; O rock me in the cradle all the day!"
The sleep of her childhood days would free her from care, from stain, from sorrow.
"Let us cheer the Weary Traveler, Let us cheer the Weary Traveler, Let us cheer the Weary Traveler, Along the lonesome Way."
"Aunt Ailsie" was a slave in Augusta County, Virginia. She was a powerful specimen of womanhood; her face was brown and sweet; her voice was soft and mellow; she was a woman of few words, but capable, and as a servant, invaluable. Her disposition was wholly lovable until she was angered, and then she was a lioness robbed of her cubs. "Aunt Ailsie" had greatly provoked her mas-4 ter, who would have killed her had she not been too valuable. He decided to sell her South. The slave trader bought her, placed her in his "gang" and went to Staunton on the first stage of the jour´┐Żney. They pitched camp on Sunny Hill, on the outskirts of the town. "Uncle Chester Bowling/' her brother, heard the news and went out to Sunny Hill, and begged the trader to let him keej> his sister in his cabin over night. The trader yielded, and that night the cabin was full of prayers and songs. Her slave friends came in and stayed all night. Not an eyed closed that night. They sang and prayed for help and comfort for "Aunt Ailsie/' and when the bright