Mama said don’t go near that river
Don’t be hangin’ around old catfish John
Come the morning I’d always be there
Walking in his footsteps in the sweet delta dawn.
Let me dream of another morning
And the time so long ago
Where the sweet magnolias blossom
Cotton fields as white as snow.
Catfish John was a river hobo
Lived and died on the river bend
Lookin’ back I still remember
I was glad to be his friend.
Born a slave in the town of Vicksburg
Traded for a chestnut mare
Still he never spoke in anger
Though his load was hard to bear.