Song of a Southern Prisoner to the Ladies of Baltimore

Happy Friday! We close Women’s History Month with this song, entitled “Southern Prisoner. Gives His Thanks to the Baltimore Ladies.”

I left Winchester Court-house, all in the month of May,
And from this great starvation I was glad to get away;
They led me down into the Car, and laid me on the floor,
I thought my soul I’d starve to death before I got to Baltimore.

When I was in the regiment, it was three rations a day,
And, woe unto a soldier’s life, I wish I was far away;
The ladies at Baltimore, they were so very kind,
And better people in the world, you’ll never, never find.

They gave us bread and butter, and sometimes chicken-meat,
You’ll never wish in Baltimore for any thing to eat;
There was a Virginia lady so very kind to me,
I often thought I’d live with her if ever I got free.

She had a very kind daughter, as you shall plainly see,
Could you have seen the boquet that she had sent me,
She had a boy that lived with her, the people knew all round,
That a better boy than he, was never to be found.

She used to say, young Edwin, you are gaining very fast,
I wished my time at Baltimore, would never, never pass,
I was so sick at Baltimore, I could hardly get my breath,
And if the nurses had not fanned me, it would have caused my death.

Our nurses, here in Baltimore, a very hard to beat,
They are so very kind, and give you plenty to eat,
There is our faithful doctor, he is never behind,
He gives us very good medicine, and is so very kind…

There was a Tennessee lady, the truth to you I’ll tell,
For a month or more in Baltimore this lady she did dwell
She used to fetch fresh fish, wich was the dish for me,
I shall never forget this very kind lady,

For to eat fresh fish it was to me but fun,
But to repay their kindness it never can be done,
The ladies in Baltimore I never shall forget,
The kindest ladies I ever saw, live in Baltimore yet.

Now kind people of Baltimore, I must bid you all adieu,
For I have left the hospital, my journey to pursue,
Now my song is ended, and I will sing no more,
If you want to be treated kindly, just go to Baltimore.

Source: Confederate Song Sheets Collection from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Image Credit: Louisa May Alcott’s Hospital Sketches (1897).

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