Tag Archives: crime

Railroad Bill

TITLE: Railroad Bill AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: rambling, robbery, crime, death, train EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1911 (Odum, according to Cohen) HISTORICAL REFERENCES: There is a legend in south Alabama, associated with the spirit of a man known as, “Railroad Bill”. This story, from slave cultures, during the post-Civil War era, during the read more »

Midnight Special

TITLE: Midnight Special AUTHOR: Unknown CATEGORY: Public Domain, Traditional KEYWORDS: prison, hard times, warning, crime, police, train EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: Sodarissa Miller, Silvertone Records, August 1925. According to Alan Lomax, the Midnight Special was a real train: the Southern Pacific Golden Gate Limited. Leadbelly popularized the song upon his release from Sugar Land prison in Texas, read more »