Behind Those Stone Walls

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Twas in St Louis city where I first saw the light
Brought up by honest parents on a pathway of right
I was left on orphan at the age of ten years
On mother’s grave I shed many tears

I’d scarcely reached manhood when I left my old home
With some other fellows to the west we did roam
Seeking employment though scarcely could find
We seemed so poor and the people unkind

Was in New York City where we first met our fate
We were arrested while roaming the streets
The charges were burglars the theft it was called
But they said it would place us behind the stone walls

We were marched next morning to the courthouse for trial
My pal was downhearted so I gave him a smile
We pleaded for mercy but was shown none at all
They gave us twenty years behind the stone walls

We were handcuffed next morning and marched to the pen
We arrived there at midnight with a few other men
The doors were thrown open we marched in the halls
Just learn to be a convict behind the stone walls

While lying that night on a pallet of straw
I swore I would never again break the law
There’s none but your mother to bear your downfall
When you are a convict behind the stone walls

Come all you young fellows and listen to me
When you lose life’s pleasures you’ve lost liberty
I’ve tasted life’s pleasures it’s bitter than gall
It’ll lead to a cell behind the stone wall