Wake Nicodemus

DESCRIPTION: "Nicodemus, the slave, was of African birth And was bought for a bagful of gold." When he dies at a great age, he asks to be awakened when freedom came. He forecasts the end of slavery and the battles it causes. Freedom proves his words true
AUTHOR: Henry Clay Work
EARLIEST DATE: 1864 (sheet music published by S. Brainerd's Sons with copyright by Root & Cady)
KEYWORDS: slave slavery freedom
REFERENCES (4 citations):
WorkSongs, pp. 9-12, "Wake Nicodemus" (1 text, 1 tune, a copy of the original sheet music)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2481, p. 167, "Wake Nicodemus!" (5 references)
Silber-FSWB, p. 291, "Wake Nicodemnus" (1 text)

Roud #4988
NOTES [68 words]: It occurs to me that the name "Nicodemus" means "victor/conqueror of/over the people," which might be significant in context -- Nicodemus the slave was victorious over the people who enslaved him. But I have no idea if Henry Clay Work had the Greek to know that. The name would most likely derive from the Gospel of John, where Nicodemus was a fairly important Jew who was a semi-secret follower of Jesus. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: FSWB291

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