When Dey Listed Colored Soldiers

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Dey was talkin’ in de cabin, dey was talkin’ in de
hall;
But I listened kin’ o’ keerless, not a-thinkin’ ‘bout
it all;
An’ on Sunday, too, I noticed, dey was whisp’rin’
mighty much,
Stan’in’ all erroun’ de roadside w’en dey let us
out o’ chu’ch.
But I did n’t think erbout it twell de middle of de
week,
An’ my “Lias come to see me, an’ somehow he
could n’t speak.
Den I seed all in a minute whut he’d come to see
me for; -
Dey had ‘listed colo’ed sojers, an’ my “Lias gwine
to wah.

Oh, I hugged him, an’ I kissed him, an’ I baiged
him not to go;
But he tol’ me dat his conscience, hit was callin’
to him so,
An’ he could n’t baih to lingah w’en he had a
chanst to fight
For de freedom dey had gin him an’ de glory of
de right.
So he kissed me, an’ he lef’ me, w’en I’d p’omised
to be true;
An’ dey put a knapsack on him, an’ a coat all
colo’ed blue.
So I gin him pap’s ol’ Bible, f’om de bottom of de
draw’, -
W’en dey ‘listed colo’ed sojers an’ my “Lias went
to wah.

But I thought of all de weary miles dat he would
have to tramp,
An’ I could n’t be contented w’en dey tuk him to
de camp.
W’y, my hea’t nigh broke wid grievin’ twell I
seed him on de street;
Den I felt lak I could go an’ th’ow my body at his
feet.
For his buttons was a-shinin’, an’ his face was
shinin’, too.
An’ he looked so strong an’ mighty in his coat
o’ sojer blue,
Dat I hollahed, “Step up, manny,” dough my
th’oat was so’ an’ raw, -
W’en dey ‘listed colo’ed sojers an’ my “Lias went
to wah.

Ol’ Mis’ cried w’en mastah lef’ huh, young Miss
mou’ned huh brothah Ned,
An’ I did n’t know dey fellin’s is de ve’y wo’ds
dey said
W’en I tol’ ‘em I was so’y. Dey had done gin
up dey all;
But dey only seem mo’ proudah dat dey men
had heerd de call.
Bofe my mastahs went in gray suits, an’ I loved
de Yankee blue,
But I t’ought dat I could sorrer for de losin’ of
‘em too;
But I could n’t, for I did n’t know de ha’f o’ whut
I saw,
Twell dey ‘listed colo’ed sojers an’ my “Lias went
to wah.

Mastah Jack come home all sickly; he was broke
for life, dey said;
An’ dey lef’ my po’ young mastah some’rs on de
roadside, - dead.
W’en de women cried an’ mou’ned ‘em, I could
feel it thoo an’ thoo,
For I had a loved un fightin’ in de way o’ dan-
gah, too.
Den dey tol’ me dey had laid him some’rs way
down souf to res’,
Wid de flag dat he had fit for shinin’ daih acrost
his breas’.
Well, I cried, but den I reckon dat ‘s what Gawd
had called him for
W’en dey ‘listed colo’ed sojers an’ my “Lias went
to wah.