You wonder why I'm grievin' and feelin' blue?
All I do is moan and cry
With me you'd be in sympathy if you only knew
And here's the reason why:
Have you heard what that mean old judge has done to me?
He told the jury not to let my man go free
There I stood with my heart so full of misery
He must die on the gallows, that was the court's decree
I walked the floor until his time was through
The judge he said there's nothin' you can do
He must die on the gallows, by his neck be hung
He must pay with his life when that there trap is sprung
He refused folks to talk until it was too late
He gave his life to satisfy the State
When they pull the black cap over my daddy's face
Lord I beg the sheriff to let me take his place
Now everyday I seem to see that news
I cry to hide my tears but what's the use?
Thirteen steps with his lovin' arms bound to his side
With a smile on his face that's how my daddy died