Logan County Jail (Dallas County Jail) [Laws E17]

DESCRIPTION: The singer has been a criminal (robber and pickpocket) from his youth. Eventually he lands in prison, facing an extended sentence. A typical opening has the singer dreaming of younger days, only to wake up in (Logan/Dallas/Ramsey/Anywhere) County Jail
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Cox)
KEYWORDS: crime prison youth
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,SE,So)
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Laws E17, "Logan County Jail (Dallas County Jail)" (sample text in NAB, pp. 76-77)
Randolph 135, "The Dallas County Jail" (4 texts plus an excerpt, 3 tunes)
High, p. 35, "Last Night As I Lye Sleeping" (1 tect)
Combs/Wilgus 59, pp. 185-186, "Bob Sims" (1 text)
Ohrlin-HBT 57, "Sporting Cowboy" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 42, "Logan County Court House" (3 texts plus mention of 1 more)
Boswell/Wolfe 34, pp. 61-62, "When I Was a Small Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownSchinhanIV 336, "When I Was a Little Boy, I Lived at Market Square" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Peters, p. 186, "Ramsey County Jail" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS2, pp. 443-444, "Jackson County Jail" (1 text, heavily localized but probably based on this); pp. 464-465, "Ramsey County Jail" (1 text)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 241-242, "The Sporting Cowboy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 285-286, "The Prisoner's Dream" (1 text); also pp. 286-287, "Jack o' Diamonds" (1 text, mostly the "Jack of Diamonds" variant of "Rye Whiskey," but with material from this song)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 130, "At the Jail" (2 texts, 1 tune; the result looks to me to be a mix between this and "Danville Girl," though it's one of those vague cases....)
DT 739, DALLJAIL* LGANJAIL RAMSJAIL*
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 20, #5 (1971), p, 19, "Sporting Cowboy" (1 text, 1 tune, the Watts & Wilson version)

Roud #691 and 9063
RECORDINGS:
Allen Brothers "Prisoner's Dream" (Victor V-40210, 1930) (Vocalion 02874, 1934) (one of these is on RoughWays1, but it's not clear which; the liner notes date it "1928")
Blue Sky Boys, "The Prisoner's Dream" (Bluebird B-7411/Montgomery Ward M-7468, 1938)
Carl & Harty, "The Prisoner's Dream" (Melotone 7-01-53, 1937)
Gooby Jenkins, "The Prisoner's Dream" (OKeh 45082, 1927; rec. 1926)
Glenn Ohrlin, "The Sporting Cowboy" (on Ohrlin01)
Shelton Brothers, "The Prisoner's Dream" (Decca 5381, 1937)
Hobart Smith, "Hawkins County Jail" (on LomaxCD1700, LomaxCD1705)
Weaver and Wiggins (pseudonyms for Wilmer Watts & Frank Wilson), "The Sporting Cowboy" (Broadway 8112, c. 1931; on WhenIWas1 [as Watts & Wilson])

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Moonshiner's Dream" (theme, lyrics)
SAME TUNE:
Blue Sky Boys, "Answer to Prisoner's Dream" (Bluebird B-7411/ Montgomery Ward M-7469, 1938)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Moundsville Prisoner
NOTES: Most of the Laws ballads have clearly defined boundaries and distinct plots. This one is rather an exception. By its nature, it has attracted a lot of extra verses, and (perhaps as a result) also sometimes has pieces fall off. Laws himself discusses this point in NAB, pp. 77-79.
Roud, curiously, splits off the Peters "Ramsey County Jail" from the rest of this group. It is true that it has a "Song of a Gamboleer" verse, which is not typical of this song, but the general form certainly seems to make it part of this family. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.6
File: LE17

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