Cotton pickers been brought 'round

to pick old Massa's cotton down

in the long hot blazing sun

and do not stop till it is done


Old men bent with swollwn toes

old women with ragged shawls and clothes

poverty is all they've ever known

no happiness, no hope, no home


And tears were shed

when fingers bled

but do not stop and do not cry

for the overseer might ride by


He has a whip with nine thick tails

to make a cotton picker wail

just keep picking, don't look up

for he be mean and so corrupt


Don't worry 'bout tomorrow so

for where it's hot, cotton always grow

and you'll be here another day

to toil your weary life away


Just put that baby in the shade

kiss him so he won't be afraid

just watch, don't let him crawl away

for if you stop, then you must pay


 There's not much food for us today

we don't work hard enough, he say

and only water from the well

our life be just a living hell


Work until we're old and grey

till angels carry us away

up there where  the gate's ain't sealed

up in God's own great cotton field


My good old Massa, he already gone

where the angels sing their song

where they might fix this old broken heart

and give us unfortunates a brand new start


Come on old woman, just come on home

it's dark now and days work is done

a little rest could help a bit

some buttermilk, a place to sit


Oh Lord, won't you listen while I pray

please, what this old darkie say

we're all so tired and all alone

won't you please take us on up home


Come on old woman, there's naught to say

cause they sold our babies all away

took all the things that we held dear

and gave us only hate and fear


Listen now, I have a thing to say to you

for I know our lives be almost through

I loved you when first you were my bride

I loved you when we hurt inside


I loved you when you bore my babes

I loved you when old Massa made you give them all away

you stood so tall, you stood so proud

and not a tear was ere allowed



And time is almost over here for us

no more bother, no more fuss

come on old woman, just hold my hand

we're going home to glory land



Where all our families live just fine

where there's no overseer with a cat o nine





























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