Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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86                      FOLK SONG OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO.
morn of nature broke upon the world, "Aunt Ailsie" turned her way to the slave gang, bound for the South. The weary, heart-bowed slaves, in weird vioce, sang:
"Let us cheer the Weary Traveler, Let us cheer the Weary Traveler, Let us cheer the Weary Traveler, Along the lonesome Way."
"If you meet with trials and troubles on de way� Jis' put yo' trus* in Jesus, an' don't forget to pray."
"Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord, Nobody knows the trouble I see; Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord; Nobody knows like Jesus."
"Uncle Anthony" was owned by an Augusta County master, and lived happily with his faithful wife. Their cabin was a realm of melody. It was singing, singing, singing! One day, Heaven sent a child to them, and there was more singing, with a tenderer, more ecstatic note. The glad father worked at odd times upon a rude cradle for his babe, in which she could lie, rock, and go to sleep to the comforting lullabies from the full-hearted mother. At last the cradle was finished, and with an overflowing soul he bore it home. His joy grew with every step; anticipations of opening the door of that cabin, seeing the baby in the cradle, and beholding the smile upon that mother's face made his his heart swell and his breath come short and fast! The cabin was there; that was all! Mother and babe were gone with the trader, somewhere toward the South. The bud of his happiness was dead! He searched the whole creation for his wife and child. The forests, hills, and fields mocked his cries. Days and days he was a madman in his grief. No threats or lash�ings could quiet him or force him back to his work. His usefulness as a slave was destroyed, and when a man whose heart had been touched and softened by the poor slave's sorrow offered to buy him, his offer was at once accepted. Two thousand dollars he paid, and received his purchase of flesh and blood. The bargain closed, he immediately made out "free papers"1 for Anthony and told him to go find his wife and child, promising that if he found them, they, too,