Coffee in the Gourd Page: 38
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MISCELLANY OF TEXAS FOLK-LORE
BY W. P. WEBB
The folk-lore presented here is nothing more than a miscellan-
eous collection. A few of the selections bear unmistakable signs
of authorship; others are parodies on well-known religious or
popular songs. Each selection, however, has this feature in com-
mon with all folk-lore: it lives and is handed down by word of
mouth by some class or group.
The first songs I shall give were collected from two hobos who
were placed in the police station at Cuero, Texas. They were
picked up as suspicious characters after a local diamond robbery
and placed in, prison. Upon being liberated, they found it im-
possible to get out of town, and voluntarily returned to the police
station and asked to be locked up for the night and fed. One of
the school boys happened to get in conversation with them and
got one song in the hobo's own handwriting. The hobo wrote an
excellent business hand, and the punctuation and capitalization
showed him to be a man of more than average education. On the
morning following I went down to the police station and got some
other songs. The hobos talked freely and interestingly. They
said they learned the songs when in the I. W. W. (International
Workmen of the World, or I Won't Work). They spoke of the
I. W. W.'s as "Wobblers." I asked one where they were from.
He shrugged his shoulders, sucked his cigarette, and said: "Oh,
everywhere. We've been to the Pacific and to the Atlantic, so we
can't say where we're from." After a moment he added rather
whimsically, "We been everywhere looking for work, and-never
able to find it."
The first song, an obvious parody, was sung to the good re-
ligious tune of "Hallelujah, Thine the Glory."
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Coffee in the Gourd (Book)
Collection of miscellaneous folklore of Texas and Mexico, including folk songs, information about Indian pictographs, legends, superstitions, and weather lore. The index begins on page 105.
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Texas Folklore Society. Coffee in the Gourd, book, 1923; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38309/m1/48/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.