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