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Civil War Music: Dixie

Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904)
This is a close-up image of a Confederate States of America bill.

Dixie, or Dixie's Land as it was also known, was originally written for a minstrel show. Performers in minstrel shows often blacked their faces and pretended to be slaves. They would speak or sing in accents so thick they could hardly be understood. The lyrics here are not written in dialect (the way it would be spoken) but the grammar is true to the original. The catchy tune soon turned the song into one of the most popular patriotic songs in the Confederacy.

 

The lyrics are:

I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie land.

In Dixie land where I was born in
Early on one frosty mornin’
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie land.

Then I wish I was in Dixie, Horray! Horray!
In Dixie land I’ll take my stand.
To live and die in Dixie,
Away, Away, Away down south in Dixie,
Away, Away, Away down south in Dixie,