"The Roanoke Riot"

Roanoke Riot main page
| song | newspaper clippings

It was the twentieth of September,
When the moon shown from on high,
In the magic city of Roanoke
Nine innocent men did die.

They were shot down by the militia
that was stationed in the jail.
It was the awfulist outrage
That ever did prevail.

The captain gave his orders to fire
When heard instructions from Mayor H. L. Trout.
It was the awfulist outrage
That ever was heard about.

And I think it was foolish
To call out the militia
All because of
A dirty low down [Negro].

Some were shot through the heart
While many were shot through the head.
After the firing was over,
Nine men lay dead.

Many people did many cruel things,
Yes, things we call hard
For they wanted to bury the [Negro]
In the Mayor's backyard.

But the preacher pleaded with them,
Yes, loudly he did shout,
"Have some respect for your neighbor here,
If not for Mayor Trout."

Some suggested they burn him
At the stake
For the awful crime attempted,
Mrs. Bishop's life to take.

So they built the fire upon him
Out of oil and pine,
And all looked on him
To see him burn.

That it was outrage in our city,
Yes, everyone that could be clear.
Let's all be quiet now
And have no lynching here.

For the [Negro] is dead
And gone to a different world from this,
But all do know that he did not go
To a world of heavenly bliss.

Roanoke Riot main page | song | newspaper clippings

Deathly Lyrics:
Songs of Virginia Tragedies


Audio Credits


Breeding Mill

Caty Sage


Dewey Lee


Freeda Bolt

Great Kanawha

Kent Steffie

Mollie Tynes

Old 97

Poor Goins

Roanoke Riot

Rye Cove

Talt Hall

Vance Song

Wreck of the 1256