The Bentley Boys recorded this song and, on the flip side “Henhouse Blues” in 1929. Almost nothing is known of them except that they were from North Carolina. The recording we have is from the Anthology of American Folk Music, the master collection put together by Harry Smith. The song deals with sharecropping and, over the years, has lived several lives through parody and adaption to other occupations (“Hard Times in the Mines”). It probably originated as “Lawson’s Farm” shortly after the Civil War ended.