Columbus Stockade Blues

DESCRIPTION: "Way down in Columbus, Georgia, I want to go back to Tennessee. Way down in Columbus stockade, my friends all turned their backs on me. So you can go and leave me if you want to...." The singer laments his imprisonment and the loss of his love
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton)
KEYWORDS: prison separation chaingang
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Warner 137, "'Way Down in Columbus, Georgia" (1 text, 1 tune)
Joyner, p. 102, "Columbus Stockade Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 308-309, "Columbus Stockade Blues" (1 text)
Shay-Barroom, p. 173, "Once I Loved a Railroad Brakeman" (1 text, with the lyrics of "Dear Companion (The Broken Heart; Go and Leave Me If You Wish To, Fond Affection)" although I suspect the tune and chorus floated in from "Columbus Stockade Blues")
Silber-FSWB, p. 65, "Columbus Stockade Blues" (1 text)

Roud #7480
Bud & Joe Billings [pseud. for Frank Luther & Carson Robison], "Columbus Stockade Blues" (Victor V40031, 1929)
Cliff Carlisle & Wilbur Ball, "Columbus Stockade Blues" (Superior 2749 [as Jim & Otto Fletcher], 1931; Champion 16364, c. 1932; Champion 45186, c. 1935; Montgomery Ward M-8012, 1939) (Banner 32470/Melotone M-12434/Oriole 8144/Perfect 12815/Romeo 5144 [all as "Columbus Stockade"], 1932; Edison Bell Winner [UK] W40, c. 1933; rec. 1931)
Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton, "Columbus Stockade Blues" (Columbia 15212-D, 1927)
Jimmie Davis, "Columbus Stockade Blues" (Decca 6083/Melotone [Canada] 45555, 1943; Decca 46137, 1949; rec. 1942)
Flannery Sisters, "Columbus Stockade" (Decca 5256, 1936)
J. E. Mainer Band, "Columbus Stockade" (on LomaxCD1705)

cf. "Dear Companion (The Broken Heart; Go and Leave Me If You Wish To, Fond Affection)" (tune)
NOTES [110 words]: Apparently a rework of an English lost love song, "Go and Leave Me" [which we have indexed as "Dear Companion" - PJS]. Frank Proffitt heard it sung by Blacks on a chain gang, and it has become a staple of the bluegrass repertoire. Its English origin has been completely forgotten in these traditions, even though the original lost love song is said to be widely known in the British Isles.
Silber credits this to Woody Guthrie; while Guthrie may have played with it a bit, clearly he was not the sole author. - RBW
Given the various 78 recordings, Silber's clearly wrong.... I'd guess Carlisle's recording was the source of the song's popularity in bluegrass. - PJS
Last updated in version 4.2
File: Wa137

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