Lone Hand Western - Old West History

Civil War Music

The Songs of the Civil War

Most of the cowboys in the old west had fought in the Civil War and it is only natural that songs would carry from that period forward.  Here is a selection of some of the better known songs.  More lyrics will be added on a regular basis.

Vintage Songbooks

Real Civil War Songs Album

The most authentically digitally remastered Civil War Music ever recorded. Performed by the best studio artists recording today!  The official website for the product was launched June of 2011. At the website,  realcivilwarmusic.com,  you can sample all twelve tracks, including some familiar tunes like Dixie, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Yellow Rose of Texas, When Johny Comes Marching Home Again, as well as less familiar selections such as Aura Lea, The Battle Cry of Freedom, Rebel Soldier, Hard Times Come Again No More, Old Dan Tucker, Bonnie Blue Flag and Arkansas Traveler. A history of each song is also included. Digital downloads of all twelve tracks is $9.99, which also includes a optional physical copy of the CD.

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Cowboy Songs Index   Cowboy Songs 1   Cowboy Songs 2

Cowboy Songs 3    Cowboy Songs 4    Cowboy Songs  5    Cowboy Songs 6

Civil War Songs   Civil War Songs Confederate   Victorian Songs   Victorian Ballads   

Vintage Songbooks

Online Banjo, Guitar and Mandolin Lessons

A

All Quiet Along the Potomac

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night!" 
Except here and there a stray picket 
Is shot, as he walks on his beat, to and fro, 
By a rifleman hid in the thicket. 
'Tis nothing! a private or two now and then 
Will not count in the news of a battle; 
Not an officer lost, only one of the men 
Moaning out, all alone, the death rattle. 

All quiet along the Potomac to-night! 
Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming; 
And their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon, 
And the light of their camp-fires are gleaming. 
A tremulous sigh, as a gentle night-wind 
Through the forest leaves slowly is creeping; 
While the stars up above, with their glittering eyes, 
Keep guard o'er the army sleeping. 

There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread 
As he tramps from the rock to the fountain, 
And thinks of the two on the low trundle bed, 
Far away, in the cot on the mountain. 
His musket falls slack, his face, dark and grim, 
Grows gentle with memories tender, 
As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep, 
And their mother--"may heaven defend her!" 

The moon seems to shine forth as brightly as then-- 
That night, when the love, yet unspoken, 
Leaped up to his lips, and when low-murmured vows 
Were pledged to be ever unbroken. 
Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes, 
He dashes off tears that are welling; 
And gathers the gun closer up to his breast 
As if to keep down his heart's swelling. 

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine-tree, 
And his footstep is lagging and weary; 
Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light, 
Towards the shades of the forest so dreary. 
Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves? 
Was it the moonlight so wondrously flashing? 
It looked like a rifle: "Ha! Mary, good-by!" 
And his life-blood is ebbing and splashing. 

"All quiet along the Potomac to-night!" 
No sound save the rush of the river; 
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead, 
And the picket's off duty forever!

B

The Battle Cry Of Freedom

Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom, 
And we'll rally from the hillside we'll gather from the plain,
 Shouting the battle cry of Freedom. 

(CHORUS) 
The Union forever, 
Hurrah boys, hurrah! 
Down with the Traitor, 
Up with the Star; 
While we rally round the flag, boys, 
Rally once again, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.


  We are springing to the call three hundred thousand more, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom, 
And we'll fill the vacant ranks of our brothers gone before, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom. 

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal true and brave, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom, 
And altho' he may be poor he shall never be a slave, Shouting the battle cry of Freedom. 

(So we're singing to the call from the East and from the West, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom, 
And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love the best,
 Shouting the battle cry of Freedom. 

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; 
He is trampling out the vintage where grapes of wrath are stored; 
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword, 
His truth is marching on. 

CHORUS:  
Glory, glory, hallelujah! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah! 
His truth is marching on. 

I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps; 
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; 
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps, 
His day is marching on.  

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish'd rows of steel, 
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal"; 
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel Since 
God is marching on. 

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His Judgement Seat. 
Oh! Be swift, my soul, to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet! 
Our God is marching on.  

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, 
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; 
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, 
While God is marching on.

Bonnie Blue Flag

We are a band of brothers And native to the soil, 
Fighting for the property We gained by honest toil; 
And when our rights were threatened, The cry rose near and far-- "Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star!" 

CHORUS:  

Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights hurrah! 
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star. 

As long as the Union Was faithful to her trust, 
Like friends and like brothers Both kind were we and just; 
But now, when Northern treachery Attempts our rights to mar, 
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star.

First gallant South Carolina Nobly made the stand, 
Then came Alabama, Who took her by the hand. 
Next quickly Mississippi, Georgia and Florida 
All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star.

Ye men of valor, gather round The banner of the right; 
Texas and fair Louisiana Join us in the fight. 
Davis, our loved president, And Stephens statesman are; 
Now rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star.

And here's to old Virginia-- The Old Dominion State-- 
Who with the young Confederacy At length has linked her fate; Impelled by her example, Now other states prepare 
To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star.

Then cheer, boys, cheer; Raise the joyous shout, 
For Arkansas and North Carolina Now have both gone out; 
And let another rousing cheer For Tennessee be given, 
The single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag Has grown to be eleven.

Then here's to our Confederacy, Strong are we and brave; 
Like patriots of old we'll fight Our heritage to save. 
And rather than submit to shame, To die we would prefer; 
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star.

C

D

Dixie Land

I wish I was in the land of cotton, 
Old times there are not forgotten; 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land! 
In Dixie's Land where I was born in, 
Early on one frosty morning, 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land! 

CHORUS:
Then I wish I was in Dixie! Hooray! Hooray! 
In Dixie's Land I'll take my stand, to live and die in Dixie! 
Away! Away! Away down South in Dixie! 
Away! Away! Away down South in Dixie!

Old Missus married "Will the Weaver"; 
William was a gay deceiver! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land! 
But when he put his arm around her,
 Smiled as fierce as a forty-pounder! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land!--  

His face was sharp as a butcher's cleaver; 
But that did not seem to grieve her! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land! 
Old Missus acted the foolish part 
And died for a man that broke her heart! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land!--  

Now here's a health to the next old missus 
And all the gals that want to kiss us! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land! 
But if you want to drive away sorrow, 
Come and hear this song tomorrow! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land!--
  

There's buckwheat cakes and Injin batter, 
Makes you fat or a little fatter! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land! 
Then hoe it down and scratch your gravel, 
To Dixie's Land I'm bound to travel! 
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie's Land!--

E

F

G

Goober Peas

Sittin' by the roadside on a summer's day,
 Chattin' with my messmates, passing time away, 
Lying in the shadows, underneath the trees -- 
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas! 

CHORUS:

Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas! 
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas! 

When a horseman passes, the soldiers have a rule 
To cry out at their loudest "Mister, here's your mule!" 
But still another pleasure enchantinger than these 
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas! 

 Just before the battle, the General hears a row; 
He says "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now"! 
He turns around in wonder, and what do you think he sees? 
The Georgia Militia, eating goober peas! 

I think my song had lasted almost long enough! 
The subject's interesting, but rhymes are mighty rough! 
I wish this war was over, when free from rags and fleas, 
We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts and goble goober peas!

H

Home Sweet Home

'Mid pleasures and palaces though I may roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home; 
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there, 
Which, seek thro' the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere. 

Chorus: 
Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home! 
There's no place like home, there's no place like home. 

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain, 
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again; 
The birds singing gaily that come at my call; 
Give me them, with that peace of mind, dearer than all. 

To thee, I'll return, overburdened with care, 
The heart's dearest solcae will smile on me there. 
No more from that cottage again will I roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

I

J

John Browns Body

John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, 
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, 
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, 
But his soul goes marching on. 

CHORUS:  

Glory, glory, hallelujah, 
Glory, glory, hallelujah, 
Glory, glory, hallelujah, 
His soul goes marching on. 

He's gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord, 
He's gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord, 
He's gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord, 
His soul goes marching on.  

John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back, 
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
 John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back, 
His soul goes marching on.  

John Brown died that the slaves might be free, 
John Brown died that the slaves might be free, 
John Brown died that the slaves might be free, 
His soul goes marching on.

The stars above in Heaven now are looking kindly down, 
The stars above in Heaven now are looking kindly down, 
The stars above in Heaven now are looking kindly down, 
His soul goes marching on.

Just Before the Battle Mother

Just before the battle, Mother, I am thinking most of you. 
While upon the field we're watching, with the enemy in view. Comrades brave are 'round me lying, filled with thoughts of home and God; 
For well they know that on the morrow, some will sleep beneath the sod.
 
CHORUS:
 
Farewell, Mother, you may never press me to your breast again; 
But, oh, you'll not forget me, Mother, if I'm numbered with the slain.

 Oh, I long to see you, Mother, and the loving ones at home, 
But I'll never leave our banner till in honor I can come. 
Tell the traitors all around you that their cruel words we know, 
In every battle kill our soldiers by the help they give the foe. 

 Hark! I hear the bugles sounding, 'tis the signal for the fight, 
Now, may God protect us, Mother, as He ever does the right. 
Hear "The Battle Cry of Freedom," how it swells upon the air, 
Oh, yes, we'll rally 'round the standard, or we'll nobly perish there.

K

L

Lorena

The years creep slowly by, Lorena, 
The snow is on the grass again; 
The sun's low down the sky, Lorena, 
The frost gleams where the flowers have been; 
But the heart throbs on as warmly now, 
As when the summer days were nigh; 
Oh! the sun can never dip so low, 
Adown affection's cloudless sky. 

A hundred months have passed, Lorena,
 Since last I held thy hand in mine; 
And felt the pulse beat fast, Lorena -- 
Though mine beat faster far than thine; 
A hundred months -- 'twas flowery May, 
When up the hilly slope we climbed, 
To watch the dying of the day, 
And hear the distant church bells chime. 

We loved each other then, Lorena. 
More than we ever dared to tell; 
And what we might have been, Lorena, 
Had but our lovings prospered well -- 
But then -- 'tis past; the years are gone, 
I'll not call up their shadowy forms; 
I'll say to them, "lost years, sleep on! 
Sleep on! Nor heed life's pelting storms." 

The story of that past, Lorena, 
Alas! I care not to repeat; 
They touched some tender chords, Lorena, 
They lived, but only lived to cheat. 
I would not cause e'en one regret 
To rankle in your bosom now -- 
"For if we try we may forget," 
Were words of thine long years ago. 

Yes, those were words of thine, Lorena -- 
They are within my memory yet -- 
They touched some tender chords, Lorena, 
Which thrill and tremble with regret. 
'Twas not the woman's heart which spoke -- 
Thy heart was always true to me; 
A duty stern and piercing broke 
The tie that linked my soul to thee. 

It matters little now, Lorena, 
The past is in the eternal past; 
Our hearts will soon lie low, Lorena, 
Life's tide is ebbing out so fast. 
There is a future, oh, thank God! 
Of life this is so small a part -- 
'Tis dust to dust beneath the sod, 
But there, up there, 'tis heart to heart

M

Marching Through Georgia

Ring the good ol' bugle, boys, we'll sing another song, 
Sing it with the spirit that will start the world along, 
Sing it as we used to sing it 50,000 strong 
While we were marching through Georgia. 

CHORUS:
Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee! 
Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free! 
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea 
While we were marching through Georgia! 

How the darkies shouted when they heard the joyful sound! 
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found! 
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground 
While we were marching through Georgia!

 Yes, and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears 
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years. 
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers 
While we were marching through Georgia!

"Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!" 
So the saucy rebels said, and 'twas a handsome boast, 
Had they not forgot, alas, to reckon with the host 
While we were marching through Georgia!

 So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train, 
Sixty miles in latitude, 300 to the main. 
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain 
While we were marching through Georgia!--

N

O

P

Q

R

S

Southron's  Chaunt Of Defiance

You can never win us back; 
Never! Never! 
Tho' we perish in the track of your endeavor; 
Tho' our corpses strew the earth 
Smiling now on our birth, 
And tho' blood polute each hearth 
Now and ever! 

(CHORUS)

You can never win us back; 
Never! Never! 
Tho' we perish in the track 
Of your endeavor; 
Tho' our corpses strew the earth 
Smiling now on our birth, 
And tho' blood polute each hearth 
Now and ever! 

We have risen to a man, 
Stern and fearless; 
Of your curses, of your ban, 
We are careless. 
Ev'ry hand is on its knife, 
Ev'ry gun is primed for strife. 
Ev'ry palm contains a Life 
High and peerless. 

You have no such blood as our For the shedding; 
In the veins of Cavaliers Was its heading! 
You have no such stately men In you abolution 
den Marching through foe and fen, Nothing dreading! 

We may fall before the fire Of your legions, 
Paid with gold for murderous hire, 
Bought allegiance; But for every drop you shed, 
You shall have a mound of dead, 
So that vultures may be fed In our regions! 

But the battle to the strong Is not given, 
While the Judge of right and wrong Sits in Heaven 
And the God of David still Guides the pebble in His will, 
There are giants yet to kill, Wrongs unshriven! 

 

Stonewall Jackson's Way

Come, stack arms, men. 
Pile on the rails, 
Stir up the campfire bright; 
No matter if the canteen fails, 
We'll make a roaring night. 
Here Shenandoah brawls along, 
There burly Blue Ridge echoes strong 
To swell the brigade's rousing song 
Of "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

We see him now--the old slouched hat 
Cocked o'er his eye askew-- 
The shrewd, dry smile--the speech so pat-- 
So calm, so blunt, so true. 
That "Blue-Light Elder" knows 'em well-- 
Says he, "That's Banks; he's fond of shell-- 
Lord save his soul! We'll give him"...well, 
That's "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

Silence! ground arms! kneel all! caps off! 
Old Blue Light's going to pray; 
Strangle the fool that dares to scoff; 
Attention; it's his way! 
Appealing from his native sod, 
In forma pauperis to God--
 "Lay bare thine arm; stretch forth thy rod; 
Amen." That's "Stonewall's way." 

He's in the saddle now! Fall in!
Steady, the whole brigade! 
Hill's at the ford, cut off! He'll win 
His way out, ball and blade. 
What matter if our shoes are worn? 
What matter if our feet are torn? 
"Quick step--we're with him ere the dawn!
" That's "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

The sun's bright glances rout the mists 
Of morning, and, by George! 
There's Longstreet struggling in the lists, 
Hemmed in an ugly gorge-- 
Pope and his Yankees whipped before-- 
"Bayonet and grape!" hear Stonewall roar, 
"Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashby's score 
In Stonewall Jackson's way." 

Ah, maiden! wait and watch and yearn 
For news of Stonewall's band! 
Ah, widow! read with eyes that burn 
That ring upon thy hand! 
Ah, wife! sew on, pray on, hope on, 
Thy life shall not be all forlorn-- 
The foe had better ne'er been born, 
That gets in Stonewall's way.

T

Tramp Tramp Tramp

In the prison cell I sit, thinking Mother, dear, of you, 
And our bright and happy home so far away, 
And the tears, they fill my eyes 'spite of all that I can do,
 Tho' I try to cheer my comrades and be gay. 

CHORUS

Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching, 
Cheer up, comrades, they will come, 
And beneath the starry flag we shall breathe the air again 
Of the free land in our own beloved home. 

In the battle front we stood, when their fiercest charge they made, 
And they swept us off a hundred men or more, 
But before we reached their lines, they were beaten back dismayed, And we heard the cry of vict'ry o'er and o'er. 

 So within the prison cell we are waiting for the day 
That shall come to open wide the iron door, 
And the hollow eye grows bright, and the poor heart almost gay, 
As we think of seeing home and friends once more. 

U

UNRECONSTRUCTED REBEL
(Major Innes Randolph)

Oh, I'm a good old Rebel,
Now that's just what I am;
For this "fair land of Freedom"
I do not care a damn.
I'm glad I fit against it-
I only wish we'd won.
And I don't want no pardon
For anything I've done.

I hates the Constitution,
This great Republic too;
I hates the Freedmen's Buro,
In uniforms of blue.
I hates the nasty eagle,
With all his brag and fuss;
But the lyin', thievin' Yankees
I hates' em wuss and wuss.

We got three hundred thousand
Befo' they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever
And Southern steel and shot;
And I wish it was three million
Instead of what we got.
.
I can't take up my musket
And fight' em now no mo',
But I ain't a-goin'to love' em,
Now that is sartin sho';
And I don't want no pardon
For what I was and am;
And I won't be reconstructed,
And I do not give a damn.

V

The Vacant Chair

We shall meet but we shall miss him. 
There will be one vacant chair. 
We shall linger to caress him 
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer. 
When one year ago we gathered, 
Joy was in his mild blue eye. 
Now the golden cord is severed, 
And our hopes in ruin lie. 

CHORUS:
 We shall meet, but we shall miss him. 
There will be one vacant chair. 
We shall linger to caress him 
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer. 

At our fireside, sad and lonely, 
Often will the bosom swell 
At remembrance of the story 
How our noble Willie fell. 
How he strove to bear the banner 
Thro' the thickest of the fight 
And uphold our country's honor 
In the strength of manhood's might. 

 True, they tell us wreaths of glory 
Evermore will deck his brow, 
But this soothes the anguish only, 
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now. 
Sleep today, O early fallen, 
In thy green and narrow bed. 
Dirges from the pine and cypress 
Mingle with the tears we shed.

W

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

When Johnny comes marching home again, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
We'll give him a hearty welcome then, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
The men will cheer, the boys will shout, 
The ladies they will all turn out, 
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home. 

The old church bells will peal with joy, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
To welcome home our darling boy, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
The village lads and lassies say 
With roses they will strew the way, 
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home. 

Get ready for the Jubilee, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
We'll give the hero three times three, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
The laurel wreath is ready now 
To place upon his loyal brow, 
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home. 

Let love and friendship on that day, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
Their choicest treasures then display, 
Hurrah! Hurrah! 
And let each one perform some part 
To fill with joy the warrior's heart, 
And we'll all feel gay When Johnny comes marching home.

X

Y

The Yellow Rose Of Texas

There's a yellow rose in Texas 
That I am going to see. 
No other soldier knows her 
 No soldier, only me. 
She cried so when I left her, 
It like to broke my heart, 
And if I ever find her, 
We never more shall part. 

CHORUS:
She's the sweetest rose of color 
This soldier ever knew. 
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, 
They sparkle like the dew. 
You may talk about your dearest May 
And sing of Rosa Lee, 
But the Yellow Rose of Texas 
Beats the belles of Tennessee. 

Where the Rio Grande is flowing 
And the starry skies are bright, 
She walks along the river 
In the quiet summer night. 
She thinks, if I remember, 
When we parted long ago, 
I promised to come back again 
And not to leave her so.

Oh, now I'm going to find her, 
For my heart is full of woe, 
And we'll sing the song together 
That we sang so long ago. 
We'll play the banjo gaily, 
And we'll sing the songs of yore, 
And the Yellow Rose of Texas 
Shall be mine forever more.--

Z

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