Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by
Text encoded by Elizabeth S. Wright
First edition, 2003
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
(song title) Little Mary Phagan
Performer: Rosa Lee Carson
Call number 78-15479 General Collection/Sound Recordings (#30001), (Southern Folklife Collection, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
LC Subject Headings:
Little Mary Phagan, she went to town one day
She went to the pencil fact'ry, to get her little pay
She left her home at eleven, when she kissed her mother good-bye
Not one time did the po' child think, she was goin' right to die
Leo Frank met her, with a blues we hardly know
He smiled and said, "Lil' Mary, now you go home no mo'"
He sneaked along behind her, 'til she reached the little room
He laughed and said, "Lil' Mary, you met your fatal doom."
She fell upon her knees, to Leo Frank she pled
Because she was virtuous, he hit her across the head
The tears rolled down her rosy cheeks, the blood flowed down her back
She remembered tellin' her mother what time she would be back
He killed lil' Mary Phagan, was on one holiday
Then called for ol' Jim Conley to take her body away
He took her to the basement, bound hand and feet
Down in the basement, lil' Mary lay asleep
Newt Lee was the watchman, when he went to wind the key
Down in the basement, lil' Mary he could see
He called for the officers, their names I do not know
They came to the pencil factr'y, saying, "Newt Lee, you must go."
They took him to the jailhouse, locked him in a cell
The poor ol' innocent nigger, knew nothin' for to tell
I have a notion in my head, when Frank comes to die
He took his damnation in the courthouse in the sky
The astonished asked the question, the angels they do say
Why he kill lil' Mary, upon one holiday?
Come all of you good people, wherever you may be,
Supposin' little Mary belonged to you or me?
Her mother sets a-weepin'
She weeps and mourns all day
She prays to meet her baby
In a better world some day
Judge Roan passed the sentence
You bet he passed it well
Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey
Sent Leo Frank to ——