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lee's songbook


Reproduction of General U.S. Grant's
Folding Camp Chair
Made of Unfinished Mahogany
Courtesy of

Words By Henry S. Washburn
Music By George Root

We shall meet, but we shall miss him; there will be one vacant chair;
We shall linger to caress him while we breathe our evening prayer.
When a year ago we gathered, joy was in his mild blue eye,
But a golden chord is severed and our hopes in ruin lie.

We shall meet, but we shall miss him; there will be one vacant chair;
We shall linger to caress him while we breathe our evening prayer.

At our fireside, sad and lonely, often will the bosom swell
At remembrance of the story how our noble Willie fell;
How he strove to bear our banner through the thickest of the fight,
And uphold our country's honor in the strength of manhood's night.

True, they tell us wreaths of glory ever more will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, oh, early fallen, in thy green and narrow bed,
Dirges from the pine and cypress, mingle with the tears we shed.


To The Tune Of Yankee Doodle

How are you, boys? I'm just from camp, and feel as brave as Caesar;
The sound of bugle, drum, and fife has raised my Ebenezer.
I'm full of fight, odds shot and shell, I'll leap into the saddle;
And when the Yankees see me come - Lord, how they will skedaddle!

Hold your head up, Shang-hai! Shanks,
Don't shake your knees and blink so!
It is no time to dodge the act -
Brave comrades, don't you think so?

I was a ploughboy in the field, a gawky, lazy dodger
When came the conscript officer and took me for a sodger.
He put a musket in my hand and showed me how to fire it;
I marched and counter-marched all day - Lord, how I did admire it!

With corn and hog fat for my food, and digging, guarding, drilling,
I got as thin as twice-skimmed, and was scarcely worth the killing;
And now I'm used to homely fare, my skin as tough as leather;
I do guard duty cheerfully in every kind of weather.

I'm brimful of fight, my boys, I would not give a "Thank ye"
For all the smiles the girls can give until I've killed a Yankee.
High private is glorious rank, there's wide room for promotion;
I'll get a corporal's stripes some day when fortune's in the notion.

'Tis true I have not seen a fight, nor have I smelt gunpowder;
But then the way I'll pepper them will be a sin to chowder.
A sergeant's stripes I now will sport; perhaps be color-bearer,
And then a captain good for me - I'll be a regular terror.

I'll then begin to wear the stars, and then the wreaths of glory
Until the army I command and poets sing my story.
Our Congress will pass votes of thanks to him who rose from zero;
The people in a mass will shout, "Hurrah, behold the hero!

He fires his gun by accident!

What's that? oh dear! A boiler's burst, a gaspipe has exploded;
Maybe the Yankees are hard by with muskets ready loaded.
Oh, gallant soldiers, beat 'em back; I'll join you in the frolic,
But I've a chill from head to foot, and symptoms of the colic.

de venus ob ohio
Verses to the tune of SICH A-GITTIN' UP STAIRS
Chorus to the tune of SOMEONE IN DE HOUSE WID DINAH


O, me come agin to please, and not for to vex,
But, me first appeal to de Lilly-fair sex!
Old England for eber is de home ob de free,
So ladies be impartial, and make free wid me,

Dere's no sable lass looks fina, fina,
No white or yalla gal, you know
Can dance and sing like Dinah, Dinah,
De Venus ob Ohio

All sorts ob niggas, make 'pearance, and sing,
Dey stop little time and den take wing -
An' now de Black Venus, from Ohio,
Mean to turn'm all roun', wid all dey know.

From de Post Horn Gallop to de Poker true
Me teach all de dances, old and new,
Me dance Crocovienne wid powerful musel,
Me cut de best figga, wid lots ob bussel.

At me concert and ball, down de Ohio,
Dere was old Jim Crow and Jim along Joe,
De cleber Black Bell, dat fren ob mine,
And young Dandy Jim from Caroline.

Ginger Blue, Bone Squash, and Jumbo Jum,
Brought de best ob fruit, and de best ob rum!
Dere was first-rate niggas, ob ebery land,
Ole Rosin de Beau, and de Partissiment Band.

Dere was Coal Black Rose, and Miss Sarra Sloe,
Take time Lucy Long, says sly Old Joe,
All de Ohio boatmen, and dey're pals,
Had de old Gatlopade, wid de Buffalo Gals.

Sandy Boy and Paul Pry made up de Black Reel,
Wid de sweet Black Pink and Lucy Neal,
De Massa ob de Ceremony, quite au-fait,
Set all de bones and banjos in full play.

Dey all sung and danced till late next day,
And den dey broke up, and went away,
Dey had singing and dancing right up to chin,
Dey said dey were pleased--and dey would come agin.

Villikins and his Dinah

It is of a rich merchant I am going for to tell,
Who had for a darter an unkimmon nice young gal;
Her name it is Dinah, just sixteen years old,
With a very large fortin in silver and gold.

Sing too rali oorali oorali ay;
Sing too rali oorali oorali ay.

Now, as Dinah was waliking in the garding one day,
The papa comed up to her, and thus he did say;
"Go, dress yourself, Dinah, in gorgeous array,
And I
ll get you home a husiband both galiant and gay."

"Oh, father, dear papa, I
've not made up my mind,
To marry just yet I don
't feel inclined;
And all my large fortin I
'll gladly give o'er,
If you
ll let me live single a year or two more."

"Go, go, boldest daughter," the parient he cried.
"If you don
't consent to be this here young man's bride,
'll give all your large fortin to the nearest of kin,
And you shan
't reap the ben'fit of one single pin."

As Villikins was a waliking the garding all round,
He spied his dear Dinah lying dead on the ground,
With a cup of cold pison all down by her side,
And a billet-dux, which said as how - 'twas by pison she died.

Then he kissed her cold corpus a thousand times o
And called her his Dinah, though she was no more;
Then he swallowed up the pison, and sung a short stave -
And Villikins and his Dinah were laid in one grave.

Now, all you young men, don
't you thus fall in love, nor,
Do that not by no means dislik
'd by your guv'
And, all you young maidens, mind who you clap your eyes on,
Think of Villikins and his Dinah - not forgetting the pison.

Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1859