46th  Tennessee Vol. Inf.
  Company  K

War Songs and Poems of the South
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"I'm a Good Old Rebel"
Welcome to our favorite songs and poems of the South. All of us as re-enactors spend hours reading about the
War for Southern Independence. We read about the units that fought and the individual soldiers and their lives. 
We study drill manuals, signals, bugle calls and read every letter written home by a soldier that we can find.
Why...? In order to better understand the soldier, the era, the sorrow and anguish, the politics and the people
in the soldier's lives so that we can do a better job of honoring them when we take to the field.  One interesting
thing becomes apparent when you read a "Nation's" poems and songs is that they give you insight to people,
their thinking and the times in general. We genuinely hope you find these as interesting, as tearful, and as thought provoking as we do. 
"O I'm a Good Old Rebel"
dedicated to the Hon. Thad. Stevens

O, I'm a good old rebel, now that's just what I am,
For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not care at all;
I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won,
And I don't want no pardon, for anything I done.

I hates the Constitution, this Great Republic too,
I hate the Freedman's Buro, in uniforms of blue;
I hates the nasty eagle, with all his braggs and fuss,
The lyin', thievin' Yankees, I hates 'em wuss and wuss.

I hates the Yankee nation and everything they do,
I hates the Declaration of Independence too;
I hates the glorious Union- Tis dripping with our blood-
I hates their striped banner, I fit it all I could.

I followed old mas' Robert for four year, near about,
Got wounded in three places and starved at Pint Lookout;
I cotch the roomatism a campin' in the snow,
But I killed a chance o' Yankees, I'd like to kill some mo'.

Three hundred thousand Yankees is stiff in Southern dust,
We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us;
They died of Southern fever and Southern steel and shot,
I wish they was three million instead of what we got.

I can't take up my musket and fight 'em now no more,
But I ain't going to love 'em, now that is sarten sure;
And I don't want no pardon for what I was and am,
I won't be reconstructed and I don't care a dam.
"The Bonnie Blue Flag"
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More to come as time permits, check back often !!
"Old Betsy"
"Old Betsy"
by John Killum

Come, with the rifle so long in your keeping,
Clean the old gun up and hurry it forth;
Better to die while "Old Betsy" is speaking,
Than live with arms folded, the slave of the North.

Hear ye the yelp of the North-wolf resounding,
Scenting the blood of the warm-hearted South;
Quick !  or his villainous feet will be bounding,
Where the gore of our maidens may drip from his mouth.

Oft in the wildwood "Old Bess" has relieved you,
When the fierce bear was cut down in his track --
If at that moment she never deceived you,
Trust her to-day with this ravenous pack.

Then, come, with the rifle so long in your keeping,
Clean the old girl up and hurry her forth;
Better to die while "Old Betsy" is speaking,
Than live with arms folded, the slave of the North.
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"Dear Mother I've Come Home To Die"
"The following beautiful lines are based upon facts, and will call forth the sympathy
of every mother's heart. Many a boy wounded, or sick, and changed in health, came home to die,
and many, alas, were not permitted to look into the face of their loved ones again.  I attended
the funeral of a young fellow, whose last words were ; "Give my love to mother, and tell her
I will meet her in Heaven."  As the years wear on the reunions are occurring in a better land,
and many a boy has been restored to the circle which was broken by the rude red hand of war."
H. M. Wharton --  "War Songs and Poems of the Southern Confederacy --  1861-1865"
"Dear Mother I've Come Home To Die"
by  E. Bowers

Dear mother, I remember well the parting kiss you gave me,
When merry rang the village bell - My heart was full of joy and glee;
I did not dream that one short year would crush the hopes that soared so high!
Oh, mother dear, draw near to me, Dear mother, I've come home to die.

Chorus
Call sister, brother, to my side and take your soldier's last good-bye,
Oh, mother dear, draw near to me, Dear mother, I've come home to die.

Hark ! mother, 'tis the village bell; I can no longer with thee stay;
My country calls, to arms ! to arms ! the foe advances in fierce array !
The vision's past -- I feel that now for country I can only sigh.
Oh, mother dear, draw near to me, Dear mother !  I've come home to die.

Dear mother, sister, brother, all; one parting kiss --- to all good-by;
Weep not, but clasp your hand in mine, and let me like a soldier die !
I've met the foe upon the field where hosts contending scorned to fly;
I fought for right -- God bless you all !  Dear mother, I've come home to die.


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"The Conquered Banner"
"The Conquered Banner"
by Father Abram J. Ryan, the poet priest of the South

Furl that banner ! for 'tis weary, round its staff 'tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it, it is best:
For there's not a man to wave it, and there's not a sword to save it;
And there's not one left to lave it, in the blood which heros gave it.
And its foes now scorn and brave it, Furl it, hide it, let it rest.

Take that banner down ! 'tis tattered, broken is its staff and shattered,
And the valiant hosts are scattered over whom it floated high.
Oh ! 'tis hard for us to fold it, hard to think there's none hold it;
Hard that those who once unrolled it, now must furl it with a sigh.

Furl that banner !  Furl it sadly -- once then thousands hailed it gladly,
And ten thousands wildly, madly, swore it should forever wave;
Swore that foeman's sword could never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever
Till that flag would float forever o'er their freedom or their grave.

Furl it ! for the hands that grasped it and the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low.
And the banner, it is trailing, while around it sounds the wailing
of it's people in their woe.
For, though conquered, they adore it,
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it,
Pardon those who trailed and tore it,
And -- oh ! wildly they deplore it --
Now to furl and fold it so.

Furl that banner ! true, 'tis gory, yet 'tis wreathed around with glory,
And 'twill live in song and story, though its folds are in the dust;
For its fame on brightest pages, penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages, furl its fold though now we must.
Furl that banner ! softly, slowly, treat it gently -- it is holy --
For it droop above the dead;
Touch it not, unfold it never, let it drape there, furled forever,
For its people's hopes are dead.
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"A Reply to the Conquered Banner"
"A Reply to the Conquered Banner"
by Sir Henry Houghton, Bart., England

Gallant nation, foiled by numbers !
Say not that your hopes are fled;
Keep that glorious flag which slumbers,
One day to avenge your dead.
Keep it, widowed, sonless mothers !
Keep it, sisters, mourning brothers !
Furl it with an iron will;
Furl it now but keep it still ----
Think not that its work is done.
Keep it till your children take it,
Once again to hall and make it,
All their sires have bled and fought for;
All their noble hearts have sought for ---
Bled and fought for all alone.
All alone ! ay, shame the story !
Millions here deplore the stain;
Shame, alas ! for England's glory,
Freedom called, and called in vain !
Furl that banner sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for ' tis holy;
Till that day -- yes, furl it sadly;
Then once more unfurl it gladly --
Conquered banner !  keep it still !
"The Conquered Banner"
by Father Abram J. Ryan, the poet priest of the South

Furl that banner ! for 'tis weary, round its staff 'tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it, it is best:
For there's not a man to wave it, and there's not a sword to save it;
And there's not one left to lave it, in the blood which heros gave it.
And its foes now scorn and brave it, Furl it, hide it, let it rest.

Take that banner down ! 'tis tattered, broken is its staff and shattered,
And the valiant hosts are scattered over whom it floated high.
Oh ! 'tis hard for us to fold it, hard to think there's none hold it;
Hard that those who once unrolled it, now must furl it with a sigh.

Furl that banner !  Furl it sadly -- once then thousands hailed it gladly,
And ten thousands wildly, madly, swore it should forever wave;
Swore that foeman's sword could never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever
Till that flag would float forever o'er their freedom or their grave.

Furl it ! for the hands that grasped it and the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low.
And the banner, it is trailing, while around it sounds the wailing
of it's people in their woe.
For, though conquered, they adore it,
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it,
Pardon those who trailed and tore it,
And -- oh ! wildly they deplore it --
Now to furl and fold it so.

Furl that banner ! true, 'tis gory, yet 'tis wreathed around with glory,
And 'twill live in song and story, though its folds are in the dust;
For its fame on brightest pages, penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages, furl its fold though now we must.
Furl that banner ! softly, slowly, treat it gently -- it is holy --
For it droop above the dead;
Touch it not, unfold it never, let it drape there, furled forever,
For its people's hopes are dead.
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"The Dying Soldier Boy"
"The Dying Soldier Boy"
by A. B. Cunningham, of Louisiana
Air -- "Maid of Monterey."

Upon Manassa's bloody plain a soldier boy is dying !
The gentle winds above his form, in softest tones were sighing;
The god of day had slowly sunk beneath the verge of day,
And the silver moon was gliding above the Milky Way.

The stars were shining brightly, and the sky was calm and blue;
Oh !  what a beautiful scene was this for human eyes to view;
The river rolled in splendor, and the wavelets danc'd around
But the banks were strewn with dead men, and gory was the ground.

But the hero boy was dying, and his thoughts were very deep,
For the death-wound in his young side was wafting him to sleep.
He thought of home and kindred away on a distant shore,
All of whom he must relinquish, and never see them more.

And as the breeze passed by, in whispers o'er the dead,
Sweet memories of olden days came rushing to his head;
But his mind was weak and deaden'd, so he turned over where he lay,
As the Death Angel flitted by, and call his soul away !
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"The Coat of Faded Gray"
"The Coat of Faded Gray"
by G. W. Harris

A low hut rests in Lookout's shade,
As rots its moss-grown roof away,
While sundown's glories softly fade,
Closing another weary day.
The battle's din is heard no more,
No more the hunted stand at bay,
The breezes through the lowly door
Swing mute a coat of faded gray,
A tattered relic of the fray,
A threadbare coat of faded gray.

'Tis hanging on the rough log wall,
Near to the foot of a widow's bed,
By a white plume and well-worn shawl ---
His gift the happy morn they wed;
By the wee slip their dead child wore ---
The one they gave the name of May:
By her rag doll and pinafore ---
By right 'tis here that coat of gray
A red-fleck'd relic of the fray,
An armless coat of faded gray.

Her all of life now drapes that wall;
But poor and patient, still she waits
On God's good time to gently call
Her, too, within the jewell'd gates;
And all she craves is here to die ---
To part from these and pass away,
To join here love eternally
That wore that -- the coat of gray,
The shell-torn relic of the fray,
Her soldier's coat of faded gray.

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"The Old Rifleman"
"The Old Rifleman"
by Frank Ticknor, of Georgia

Now bring me out my buckskin suit ! My pouch and powder too !
We'll see if seventy-six can shoot as sixteen used to do.

Old Bess !  we've kept our barrels bright ! Our trigger quick and true !
As far, if not as fine a sight as long ago we drew.

And pick me out a trusty flint ! A real white and blue,
Perhaps 'twill win the other tint before the hunt is through !

Give boys your brass percussion caps ! Old "shut-pan" suits as well !
There's something in the sparks: perhaps there's something in the smell !

We've seen the red-coat Briton bleed ! The red-skin Indian, too !
We've never thought to draw a bead On Yankee-doodle-do !

But, Bessie ! bless your dear old heart, those days are mostly done;
And now we must revive the art of shooting on the run !

If Doodle must be meddling, why, there's only this to do ---
Select the black spot in his eye and let the daylight through !

And if he doesn't like the way that Bess presents the view,
He'll maybe change his mind, and stay where the good Doodles do !

We'll teach these shot-gun boys the tricks by which a war is won;
Especially how Seventy-six took Torries on the run.
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The Soldier's Amen
Unknown

As a couple of good soldiers were walking one day,
Said on to the other: "Let's kneel down and pray;
I'll pray for the war, and good of all men,
And whater I pray for, do you say ---- Amen !"

"We'll pray for the generals and all of their crew,
Likewise for the captains and lieutenants, too;
May good luck and good fortune them always attend;
And return safely home !"  Said the soldier ---"Amen !"

"We'll pray for the privates, the noblest of all;
They do all the work and get no glory at all;
May good luck and good fortune them always attend,
And return crowned with laurels!"   Said the soldier --- "Amen!"

"We'll pray for the pretty boys who want themselves wives,
And have not the courage to strike for their lives;
May bad luck and bad fortune them always attend;
And go down to Old Harry;"   Said the soldier --- "Amen!"

"We'll pray for the pretty girls, who make us good wives;
And always look at a soldier with tears in their eyes;
May good luck and good fortune them always attend,
And brave gallants for sweethearts!"   Said the soldier --- "Amen!"

"We'll pray for the conscript, with frown on his brow,
To fight for his country, he won't take the vow:
May bad luck and bad fortune him always attend,
And die with dishonor!"   Said the soldier --- "Amen!"

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"The Soldier's Amen"
"Our Faith in 61"
"Seventy-six and Sixty-one"