This is a music book. The Lomaxes called this song a traditional levee-camp song (Lomax 1940). Collectors working for the Library of Congress recorded versions all over the South, including one by pianist Jelly Roll Morton (1885-1941). ‘Ragtime’ Henry Thomas (1874- ?), another blues singer working the area around Texas at the same time as Lead Belly, recorded a very similar version entitled ‘Don’t You Leave Me Here’. I’ve recorded this on the 12-string in ‘drop D’ tuning, that is with the low E string tuned down to D.
By Roger McGuinn