(Poor Oma Wise; Poor Naomi)
Sung by: Mrs. Ben Daugherty
Recorded in Cave City, AR 8/10/58

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(Mrs. Daugherty: "It's kind of long. I don't whether I can go through and play it all or not.")

"You promised to meet me at Adam calm spring,
Bring me lots of money and other fine things."
"No money, no money, no money," he said,
"If we can get married, it will be no disgrace."

She hopped up behind him and away they did go,
'Til they came to a river so deep and so wide.
"Little Noma, little Noma, I'll tell you my mind.
My mind is to drown you and leave you behind."
"Oh, pity--oh, pity--pity," she said,
"If we can get married, it will be no disgrace."

He beat her and he cuffed her
     'til she scarcely could stand,
And he threw her in the water just below the mill dam.
He sailed across the ocean 'til he came to the far side.
He thought of little Noma and how she had died.

The people all gathered, looking around;
Where was little Noma? She could not be found.
Up stepped her old mother; her hair had turned gray.
Says, "Laurel has drownded her, for he has run away.

"He's gone up Dark River, so I understand.
They have him in prison for killing a man.
They've got him in prison with his hands all bound down.
Wrote his confession and sent them all 'round."
"Go shoot me, go hang me, for I am the man
Drownded little Noma just below the mill dam."

Also found in Randolph, Vol. II, #149, "Poor Oma Wise"; Brown, Vol. II, #300, "Poor Naomi"; Belden, p. 322, "Oma Wise."

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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