We Live on the Banks of the Ohio

DESCRIPTION: "We live on the banks of the O-hi-o, O-hi-o, O-hi-o, Where the mighty waters rapidly flow And the steamboat sweeps along." "Ole Massa to his darkies is good... He gives us our clothers...." Slaves, being so well-treated (!), are encouraged not to "droop"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: slave work river
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownIII 224, "We Live on the Banks of the Ohio" (1 text)
NOTES: While the editors of Brown are probably right in considering this a "plantation melody" -- i.e. minstrel propaganda to keep the slaves in line -- it's worth noting that slaves in the border region *were* generally better treated.
This wasn't because slave owners there were more enlightened. The explanation is simple: With freedom within easy reach, slaves were more likely to bolt if harshly treated. Few slaves ever escaped from the deep south -- but by the time of the Civil War, it was nearly dead in more northerly states *simply because slaves couldn't be kept*. - RBW
File: Br3224

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.