In my prison cell I sit,
thinking, Mother, dear, of you,
and my happy Southern home so far away;
and my eyes they fill with tears
'spite of all that I can do,
though I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.
Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!
The boys are marching;
cheer up, comrades, they will come.
And beneath the stars and bars
we shall breathe the air again
of freemen in our own beloved home.
In the battle front we stood
when their fiercest charge they made,
and our soldiers by the thousands sank to die;
but before they reached our lines,
they were driven back dismayed,
and the “Rebel yell”went upward to the sky.
Now our great commander Lee
crosses broad potomac's stream,
and his legions marching Northward take their way.
On pennsylvania's roads
will their trusty muskets gleam,
and her iron hills shall echo to the fray.
In the cruel stockade-pen
dying slowly day by day,
for weary months we've waited all in vain;
but if God will speed the way
of our gallant boys in gray,
I shall see your face, dear Mother, yet again.
When I close my eyes in sleep,
all the dear ones 'round me come,
at night my little sister to me calls;
and mocking visions bring
all the warm delights of home,
while we freeze and starve in Northern prison walls.
So the weary days go by,
and we wonder as we sigh,
if with sight of home we'll never more be blessed.
Our hearts within us sink,
and we murmur, though we try
to leave it all with him who knowest best.