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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Cotton-Field Song

By Americus Wellington Bellaw (b. 1842)

[Born in Troy, Ohio, 1842.]

WHEN de sun am wakin’, darkey jumps roun’,

Sun clammin’ high, de darkey wilts down,

Foots git hebby in de cotton groun’

Hi oh, my oh, me.

Aft’noon sun trabble slow,

It’s a mighty long time gittin’ low,

But better times am comin’, I know,

Nex’ week when de moon shines, O.

De boss see fur when de cotton am small;

Rudder lay aroun’ dan to wuk at all,

Shade mighty skase till de cotton am tall,

Hi oh, my oh, me.

O it’s ebbery day alike, some way,

And it’s ebbery day alike, I say,

But O Malindy, we’ll be gay

Nex’ week when de moon shines, O.

De rows am long when de heart’s far away,

But ole Bob White he whissel an’ he say,

“Soon de hoe an’ de grubber aside you will lay,”

Hi oh, my oh, me.

Foots git lighter when dey go

Closer to de aind ob de row,

Soon you’ll hear Uncle Rosin’s ole bow,

Nex’ week when de moon shines, O.

So it’s wuk away till de night draps down,

Sweatin’s hard wuk when de boss am roun’,

Hoe gettin’ hebby in de cotton groun’,

Hi oh, my oh, me.

But I hear Rosin callin’ far away,

“Hurry up, ye darkeys, I say,

For de time am a comin’ to be gay,

Nex’ week when de moon shines, O.”