Agnes ‘Sis’ Cunningham was an active member/organizer of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (see material by John L Handcox). Tenant farmers, some who were recent members of the ranks having lost their farms, flocked to the union as a reaction to the disastrous New Deal farm programs. This song reflects the frustration and anger that drove the movement. The last verse contains the ominous statement “if we can use a hoe, than we can use a gun.” The song was written in 1937.


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