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lee's songbook



I once knew a darkey, and his name was Uncle Ned,
O, he died long ago - long ago;
He had no wool on the top of his head,
The place where the wool ought to grow.

Lay down the shovel and the hoe,
Hang up the fiddle and the bow;
Fo' no more work for poor old Ned:
He's gone where the good darkies go.

His fingers were long like the cane in the brake,
And he had no eyes for to see;
He had no teeth for to eat de hoe-cake,
So he had to let the hoe-cake be.

One cold frosty morning old Uncle Ned died,
Oh, the tears down Massa's face run like rain;
For he knew when Ned was laid in the ground,
He'd neber see his like again.

uncle tom's grave
Words By Mrs. R. S. Nichols
Arranged by William Cumming

They made him a grave in a hilloc of sand,
Green trees over weeping him there;
The holiest spot in that desolate land,
Unblest, though it was, by a pray'r.
No shaft of white marble with letters of gold,
Looks up to the pitying skies;
But green is the turf that lies over the mould,
That hides UNCLE TOM from our eyes,
That hides UNCLE TOM from our eyes.

They made him a grave where the shadows were deep,
And there, in the silence and gloom,
They laid the calm brow of the weary to sleep,
The stars watching over his tomb.
No coffin, or shroud, in that rough-shapen mound,
Enwraps the dark form of the dead;
And only the winds stir the branches around,
That guard Uncle Tom's lowly bed,
That guard Uncle Tom's lowly bed.

Cincinnati: W.C. Peters & Sons, 1852

uncle tom's religion
Words and Music by George C. Howard

Far away from wife and children,
Still I plod my way along,
Massa Clare has gone to Eva
Leaving friendless poor old Tom.
Yet with trust and strength in heaven
I remain a faithful slave,
When de whip to me am giben,
I'll think of him who died to save.

Shall I turn against my brother
Raise the hand of cruelty,
No - we must love one another,
Den we'll get where all am free.
Patience here - I'll go to glory,
There is comfort for the slave,
When de lash makes dis flesh gory
I'll pray to him who died to save.

Good bye Chloe, farewell
Poor old Tom you'll see no more
Mind be good and hab religion
'Twill bear to you to faithful shore.

Do not weep nor shed tears 'bout me -
Suffering's over in de grave,
But at de glorious resurrection,
We'll meet with him who died to save.

As sung fifty nights by Mr. G. C. Howard,
In the admirable Drama of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN
Boston, Oliver Ditson: 1854

The unhappy contraband
By William Shakespeare Hayes

Oh! I wish dat I was back in Louisiana,
An' a hoein' ob de cotton an' de cane.
Oh! I knows dat I would be a happy Nigger;
But I'll neber see de Sunny Souf again.
Oh! I wishes I was back again with Massa
'Kase he allers was so good an' kind to me;
An' ole Missus cried as ef her heart was breakin'
When de Linkin sojers sot de niggers free.

Oh! Oh! Dey's dun played de debbil wid de land;
I'se gwine back home to Louisiana, 'kase I'se an unhappy Contraband.

I'se a libin' in de Norf, among de strangers,
An' dey ain't a-gwine to gib me work to do
'Kase dar is so many white folks in de country
Dat's got to work an' make a libin' too.
De nigger's got no frens 'mong de white folks;
De white folks sot de niggers free;
An' I pity's all de balance ob de niggers
Ef dey ain't any better off dan me.

Oh! I wishes I was sittin' in de cabin,
Wid de little niggers playin' on de floor,
Whar de Mississippi Riber keeps a-runnin',
Whar de sun lubs to look into de door;
Whar de mockin' bird so merrily am singin',
An' de moon shines ef it gets a chance;
Whar de niggers used to meet an' be so happy
For to hab a jolly ebenin' an' a dance.

But, alas! all my happy days am ober;
Dey's dun played de debbil wid de land;
'Tain't no use in talkin' now ob freedom,
'Kase I'se an unhappy contraband.
Dar's no room, I tell you, for de nigger,
'Kase de folks ain't a-gwine to let him stay;
He must starve, steal, beg, or go hungry -
Oh! I wish dat I'd neber run away.

I'se a-gwine back downe to Louisiana--
I'se a-gwine to hoe de cotton an' de cane,
An' I'se sure to go an' hunt ole Miss an' Massa,

'Kase I'd like to go an' lib wid dem again.
An' all dese foolish niggers what has masters
Had better lib wid dem as lon's dey can,
An' neber run away in search of freedom,
'Kase, I tell you, dat it isn't wo'f a cent.

Respectfully inscribed To whom it may concern.
Louisville, Ky. : D.P. Faulds, 1865


Words By D.G. Knight
Music By A.E. Blackmar

The shades of night were falling fast - Tra la la! Tra la la!
The bugler blew his well known blast - Tra la la la la la!
No matter be there rain or snow, that bugler still is bound to blow.

Up-i-de-i de-i da! Up-i-de! Up-i-da!
Up-i-de-i de-i da! Up-i-de-i-da!

He saw, as in their bunks they lay - Tra la la! Tra la la!
How soldiers spent the dawning day - Tra la la la la la!
"There's too much comfort there," said he, 
"And so I'll blow the 'Reveille'."

In nice log huts he saw the light - Tra la la! Tra la la!
Of cabin fires, warm and bright - Tra la la la la la!
The sight afforded him no heat,
And so he sounded the 'Retreat'.

Upon the fire he spied a pot - Tra la la! Tra la la!
Choicest viands smoking hot - Tra la la la la la!
Says he, "You shan't enjoy the stew,"
So 'Boots And Saddles' loudly blew.

They scarce their half-cooked meal begin - Tra la la! Tra la la!
Ere orderly cries out, "Fall in!" - Tra la la la la la!
Then off they march through mud and rain,
P'raps only to march back again.

But soldiers, you are made to fight - Tra la la! Tra la la!
To starve all day and march all night - Tra la la la la la!
Perchance, if you get bread and meat,
That bugler will not let you eat.

Oh hasten then , that glorious day - Tra la la! Tra la la!
When buglers shall no longer play - Tra la la la la la!
When we, through Peace, shall be set free
From 'Tattoo', 'Taps', and 'Reveille'.