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Negro Prison Camp Worksongs

Various Artists
Negro Prison Camp Worksongs

Recorded by Pete & Toshi Seeger in the winter of 1951 at two Texas prison farms, this album represents some of the oldest and most traditional work songs found among African American prison communities in the southern United States. Traditionally a participatory art form, these songs were typically sung while groups of 10-30 prisoners performed tasks such as chopping and hoeing. With origins reaching back to their West African ancestry as well as during the era of African American slavery, work songs served the purpose of alleviating the mundane nature of repetitive tasks as well as providing a forum for the song leader to keep the group together through rhythms and lyrics. 10 songs, 40 minutes, with liner notes featuring an introduction by Pete Seeger and song lyrics.

Track Listing

101
Let Your Hammer Ring Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 5:50
102
Here Rattler Here Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 5:22
103
Chopping in the New Ground Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 1:40
104
Go Down, Old Hannah Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 5:26
105
Mighty Bright Light Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 2:56
201
Grizzly Bear Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 4:40
202
Lost John Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 5:00
203
You Got to Hurry Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 2:04
204
I Need More Power Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 3:36
205
We Need Another Witness Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas 3:39

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