This song is also known as “Cotton Mill Colic No. 3” and was written by mill worker/musician Dave McCarn in 1931. It offers a commentary on those who left their farms to seek better jobs in the cotton mills only to get caught up with the economic crash and horrid working conditions. The textile industry was hit particularly hard by the Depression.
McCarn had been a member of a string band in the 1920’s and released four songs on a record with Howard Long as “Dave and Howard.” He was born in 1905 and died in 1964 long after giving up music. This recording is by The New Lost City Ramblers.