Andrew Poleson                [Carry me back to Tennessee]       SA1971.269.12

At a late September night ceilidh in Andrew’s home, the Old Manse at Marrister,  Andrew and friends were in fine form when he came out with this song. This version of the song, made by one Septimus Winner, dates back to the end of the American Civil War. It is possible that Andrew learned this from an old 78rpm record issued in 1910. There it is sung to banjo accompaniment by Carroll Clark with the title Carry me Back to Tennessee (Columbia record A852). Clark was one of the most prolific black recording artists of his time.
Roud no. 7428.

Ellie Rhee Sweet Ella Rhee, so dear to me,    Is lost forever more;
Our home was down in Tennessee,    Before this cruel war.

Chorus: Then carry me back to Tennessee,    Back where I long to be,
Among the fields of yellow corn,    To my darling Ella Rhee.

They said that I would soon be free    And happy all the day.
But if they take me back again,    I’ll never run away.

Chorus:  Then carry me back …

The war is over now at last    The coloured race is free.
That good time comin’ on so fast    I’se waiting for to see.

Chorus:  Then carry me back …

One further verse, not sung by Andrew, is as follows:-

Oh why did I from day to day, Keep wishing to be free;
And from my massa run away And leave my Ellie Rhee?