“My Cabin Home Among the Hills”

Author: unknown (tune by Will S. Hays)
Earliest date: 1931 (recording, Asa Martin)
Keywords: grief loneliness promise farewell home parting separation death slavery mother
Found in: US(Ap)


Singer tells of his cabin in the Virginia hills, where his "mammy" used to sing to him. His mother tells him she's going away "to another home way down in Tennessee." She promises to write, and to someday come home. She never does


I included both the keywords "death" and "slavery", because the song is ambiguous: it doesn't make clear whether the singer's mother has died or been sold. I'd bet on the latter, though. - PJS

The counter-argument being that she promised to write, and most slaves were illiterate. Many states, in fact, made it illegal to teach slaves to read and write (though some managed to learn anyway). - RBW

Cross references



  1. Roud #17214
  2. BI, RcMCHAtH