Digital History>eXplorations>John Brown: Hero or Terrorist?> John Brown in his Own Words>John Brown


Can be sung to the tune of "Caroline of Edinburgtown," "New Jersa," or "Root Hog or Die."


So many things were written about heroes of old,
But now I'll write of one who in his grave lies cold;
The name is but a plain one, not held in great renown,
A hero, and a martyr, was poor Old John Brown.

He had a heart that knew no fear--a foe to slavery,
His heart bled for the colored race, he longed to set them free,
Supported by some trusty friends, he captured a small town,
Virginia trembled at the name of Old John Brown.

By most determined action he met with some success;
His deeds of daring put poor Old Virginia in distress,
When Cook got chicken-hearted, his courage breaking down,
Undoing which was done so well by Old John Brown.

Virginia soon took alarm, her soldiers were called out,
The few brave souls who aided Brown were quickly put to rout;
Three thousand men, most out of breath, came rushing into town,
And it took nearly all of them to take Old John Brown.

Ten thousand soldiers kept a guard around his lonely cell,
While after Cook five hundred men were running with a yell;
Through woods, and fields, and marshes, poor Cook was hunted down,
They captured and imprisoned him like Old John Brown.

John Brown was tried for treason by Old Virginia's Sons,
And soon they found him guilty, and hung him up at once;
It took some Fifteen Thousand men, collected from each town,
And Half a Million Dollars! just to hang John Brown.

When the dastard deed was over, Virginia breathed again;
Then Governor Wise looked o'er his books to count the loss and gain,
The loss was rather heavy, and it made the Governor frown;
Says he, "I swear I can't afford to hang another Brown."

The treasury of Virginia was never yet too full,
And Half a Million Dollars was rather a big pull,
Then Wise resolved on doing that which would disgrace a clown,
He called on "Uncle Sam" to pay for hanging Old John Brown.

Our "Uncle," he was up to snuff; says he to Mr. Wise,
"Your queer demand has filled me with amazement and surprise;
Go, tax your "Sons of Chivalry," in city and in town,
They'll pay you for the luxury of hanging Old John Brown."

Then give a cheer for Freedom's Sons, and for our Country three,
And six for all who are opposed to Negro Slavery,
Three dismal groans for Governor Wise, Varginny's petted clown,
And peace unto the ashes of the martyr, Old John Brown.

John L. Zieber, Publisher, Philadelphia


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