Sung by: Mrs. Hattie Gilmore and Mrs. Martha Huddleston
Recorded in Sulphur Rock, AR 8/17/59

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[N.G.: The two singers frequently sing different words; sometimes I have transcribed one set, sometimes it was impossible to recognize any of them.]

There’s a little rosewood casket
That is resting on a stand.
It’s a package of old letters
Written by a cherished hand.

Bring them to me, . . . sister.
Read them o’er and o’er to me.
For I . . . to read them,
And for tears I could not see.

You have brought them to me, darling;
Now sit here upon my bed
And press gently to your bosom
My poor aching throbbing head.

Read them o’er and . . . me darling,
Read them o’er and o’er to me,
For I’ve often tried to read them,
But for tears I could not see.

When I’m dead and in my coffin
And the shroud’s about me wound
And my narrow bed is ready
In the pleasant churchyard ground.

Place this locket and the letters
Both together near my heart,
And the little ring he gave me
From my finger never part.

I am dying, sister, dying.
While you read, I’ll fall asleep,
Fall asleep to wake with Jesus.
Dearest sister, do not weep.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #763, “The Little Rosewood Casket”; Brown, Vol. II, #273, “Little Rosewood Casket”; Belden, p. 220, “Little Rosewood Casket.”

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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