Manuscript/Mixed Material Image 207 of 1939 Southern Recording Trip Fieldnotes

About this Item

JAL '39 Arkansas City, Arkansas State Farm, Camp #9

May 22, 1939

We left the headquarters of the Arkansas state farm as soon as the women convicts had been ca led to their dormitory and we had told Supt. Reed goodbye. He gave us directions for finding a new camp, Number 9, out from Arkansas City. We bought some supper at the nearby town of Varner, but we could find no place to sleep. We followed the rough and winding highway to McGehee, Arkansas, where we found a comfortable hotel. Early next morning we started out for Camp #9. At Arkansas City we stopped for further directions. This formerly prosperous town is all bu but dead now. Newly made red-clay roads led to Camp #9 and we were thankful that it had not rained recently. Captain Burt Clayton, in charge of the camp and his wife were very gracious, inviting us to dinner and extending the noon rest period so that the boys might sing for Mr. Lomax. This camp was at that time only three months old; it was surprising how much land had been cleared and what good crops were on the way. The men were betterdressed than the men at Camp #1. They gathered under the large trees in the dormitory yard and sang and joked. One of the boys busied himself making a list of nicknames in which this camp especially seemed to abound. At a penny per nickname he earned a considerable tip. The boys were willing but no significant songs were contributed.

A partial list of nicknames current at Camp #9: Sawmill, Big Windy, Railhead, Longbones, Little Man, Black Rider, Helena, Cool Goose (fromcrap game), Hop-an'-bow (crippled), Scasehound (“dat's his nitname”), Tang (cross-eyed, “Look Easttryin' to see West), Step-in-de-mouth (Mule stepped in hsi mouth and made it “that way”), Scabow (scabow de cotton means get along wid it right fast”), Colorado Red, Salty Dog, Garmouth, Dad, Blue, Wild Mna, Chicken, Slack Britches, Cheatem, Rooster. “Mattie” is their “pet name for an automatic”

About this Item

1939 Southern Recording Trip Fieldnotes
Contributor Names
Lomax, John A. (John Avery), 1867-1948 (Author)
Lomax, Ruby T. (Ruby Terrill) (Author)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  Manuscripts
manuscript: fieldnotes, 307 pages
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1939/001: fn0001
Source Collection
John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip (AFC 1939/001)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format
online text
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Manifest (JSON/LD)

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

A small subset the sound recordings in this collection are not included in this online presentation because there is a strong possibility that there may be underlying rights in musical lyrics or compositions. Researchers with an interest or need to review the entire body of material are encouraged to contact the American Folklife Center: Those song titles not included are:

  • Bull-Cow Blues
  • Don't You Leave Me Here
  • Everybody's Down on Me
  • Little Log Cabin
  • Louise
  • Maria
  • Springtime in the Rockies

Credit line

John and Ruby Lomax 1939 southern states recording trip (AFC 1939/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lomax, John A, and Ruby T Lomax. Southern Recording Trip Fieldnotes. 1939. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Lomax, J. A. & Lomax, R. T. (1939) Southern Recording Trip Fieldnotes. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lomax, John A, and Ruby T Lomax. Southern Recording Trip Fieldnotes. 1939. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

More Manuscripts/Mixed Material like this