Stephen Foster, “Poor Uncle Tom good night” draft from Foster’s “Sketchbook,” Stephen Foster Collection, University of Pittsburgh

February 17, 2022 | Tags:

De sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
‘Tis summer, de darkies are gay,
De corn top’s ripe and de meadow’s in de bloom,
While de birds make music all the day.
De young folks roll on de little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy and bright;
By’n by Hard Times comes a knocking at de door,
Den poor Uncle Tom, good night!

Oh! Good night, good night, good night Poor Uncle Tom
Grieve not for your old Kentucky home
You’r bound for a better land Old Uncle Tom

Dey hunt no more for de possum and de coon,
On de meadow, de hill and de shore,
Dey sing no more by de glimmer of de moon,
On de bench by de old cabin door.
De day goes by like a shadow o’er de heart,
With sorrow, where all was delight;
De time has come when de darkeys have to part,
Den poor Uncle Tom good night.

De head must bow and de back will have to bend,
Wherever de darky may go;
A few more days, and de trouble all will end,
In a field where de cotton had grow.
A few more days for to tote de weary load
No matter it soon will be light
A few more days for to totter on de road
Den poor Uncle Tom, good night.