Down in Charleston Jail

Melody - When this Cruel War is Over,

Sergeant Johnson

When I enlisted in the army,
Then I thought 't was grand,
Marching through the streets of Boston
Behind a regimental band.
When at Wagner I was captured,
Then my courage failed;
Now I'm dirty, hungry, naked,
Here in Charleston jail.
Weeping, sad and lonely,
Oh, how bad I feel!
Down in Charleston, South Carolina,
Praying for a good square meal.

2. If Jeff Davis will release me,
Oh, how glad I'll be!
When I get to Morris lsland,
Then I shall be free.
Then I'll tell those conscript soldiers
How they use us here:
Giving us an old corn-dodger,
They call it prisoners' fare.

3. We are longing, watching, praying,
But will not repine,
Till Jeff Davis does release us,
And send us in our lines.
Then with words of kind affection
How they'll greet us there!
Wondering how we could live so long
Upon the dodger fare.
Then we will laugh, long and loudly.
Oh, how glad we'll feel
When we arrive on Morris lsland
And eat a good square meal!

Written by Sergeant Johnson of the 54 Massachussetts (colored) Infantry while a prisoner in a Charleston military prison.

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