Gladys is on her way gome from work in the hosiery mill when "the negro... did this awful deed Too horrible to tell" (i.e. rape and murder). Miller, the alleged perpetrator, is hunted down and shot; his body is displayed
Gladys Kincaid (II) Complete text(s) *** A *** From the Frank C. Brown collection, Volume II, #297, pp. 687-688. Collected from Effie Tucker; date and place not known. 1. Come all of you good people And listen if you will Of the fate of Gladys Kincaid, Who worked in the hosiery mill. 2. Returning from her labor, Spent with the toil of day, All unaware of danger That stalked along the way. 3. In ambush lay the negro; His lust began to swell. He did this awful deed, Too horrible to tell. 4. He was declared an outlaw. Him men began to seek; But evaded his pursuers For something over a week. 5. He finally was discovered In a lonely hidden spot, And when he tried to flee away He was brought down with a shot. 6. They brought him to the courthouse And placed where all could see, The body of Broadus Miller, For an arch friend was he. 7. Go tell it in the country, To both the black and white, That old Burke County Shall e'er defend the right.
To tell this song from Gladys Kincaid (I), consider this opening stanza:
Come all of you good people
And listen if you will
Of the fate of Gladys Kincaid
Who worked in the hosiery mill.
Although this murder inspired two ballads (this one and one in Henry, neither widespread), the editors of Brown were unable to determine anything about the story behind the ballad.
A correspondent who signs herself "Amanda" tells me the murder took place in Morganton, North Carolina. Her grandmother apparently knew Gladys Kincaid, and sang one of the songs (probably this one).
This is item dF42 in Laws's Appendix II (Gladys Kinkaid I is dF41). - RBW