The singer goes boring for oil with his "auger," and in some versions contracts a venereal disease.
Logsdon says this "may be the oldest bawdy oil occupation song in tradition." There isn't much competition for that title. But Logsdon's version refers to "Oil City," which he believes to be in the Pennsylvania oil fields, which might date the song as early as the 1860s. And one of Randolph's variants apparently did date back to c. 1910. So while proof is lacking, Logsdon's claim is possible. - RBW