Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Root Abe or Die

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Root, Abe, or Die

Root, Abe, or Die

The Dutch came to Missouri, as well you all do know,
To subjugate the rebel boys but couldn 't make it go.
They can't whip the rebel boys, and I'll tell you the reason why,
The Southern boys made them run--Root hog or die.

Colonel Seigle came to Carthage to whip the rebel crew,
To feed us to the buzzards, and hang Claib Jackson too.
But they couldn't make the riffle; and I'll tell you the reason why,
The Southern boys made them get--Root hog or die.

Then Lyon came to Springfield to take another stand,
He said he'd whip us this time and drive us from our laud.
He found us down on Wilson's Creek, to whale us he did try ;
But the Southern boys made them get--Root hog or die.

'Twas on the tenth of August we heard the Lyon roar,
The grape-shot and minnie balls around like hail did pour.
But our shotgins did the work for them, and I'll tell you why,
The Southern boys made them get-- Root hog or die!

'Twas there Lyon bit the dust and Seigle ran away,
Just as he did at Carthage upou a former day
They left their wounded on the field, and I'll tell you the reason why,
The Southern boys were after them--root hog or die.

It's now we've cleared the Dutchmen, and to Jefferson we'll go
To reinstate our government and let old Abram know
That when he wants to thrash us he gets the chance to try,
And the Southern boys will learn them how to Root hog or die !

*General Franz Sigel, a German by birth, recruited a large number of Geman
immigrants into the Union Army. In a fight at Carthage, Missouri, he
engaged a much larger Confederate force, led by Gov. Jackson and General
Raines, and withdrew with minor losses. Captain Nathaniel Lyons was killed
in 1861.

From Ballads and Songs, Belden
Collected from written copy from Becca Oliver, AK, 1862
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III