LEE MILLS AND WILL HARDIN
Sung by: Ollie (Mrs. Oscar) Gilbert
Recorded in Timbo, AR, 7/18/53
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I was once without a murder stain,
But now you hear the story told
Of how I came for to be so bold.
It was one bright and sunny day.
Will Hardin, he led me stray.
He caused me to commit a crime,
Which now I am compelled to die.
Oh, here I am, all bound and chained,
And on my hands a murder stain.
If I could call back my past days,
I would repent of all such ways.
My mother dear, she prays for me--
Her smiling face I wish to see,
But death--cold death--has come at last
And took her troubles from her breast.
A many a night I've laid awake
And prayed to God for pity's sake
To pardon all my sins at last
And to forgive me of the pain.
Dear little girl, we have to part;
To see those tears, it breaks my heart.
I wouldn't care so bad to die,
If it wasn't for leave you to weep and cry.
Oh, yonder the scaffold I do see.
Oh, it is now prepared for me,
And I must stand upon it soon,
There for to meet my fatal doom.
Dear rowdy boys, here I stand.
The sheriff with a robe and an out-stretched hand,
And this is my last experienced word,
And do not let them pass your ear.
Don't never even be led astray,
Nor cause your days to end this way,
Nor cause your dear old mother grief,
And trouble on her head to heap.
My time is come; I have to go.
Farewell, dear friends on earth below.
I hope we'll meet above the sky;
And now I say to all, "Goodbye."