Songs from a Southern Point of View

Something You May Not Know About Lincoln:

One of the first targets of Lincoln and his administration as the Civil War was getting underway was the state of Maryland. He arrested legislators, citizens, the mayor and police chiefs of Baltimore, censored newspapers and arrested editors, abolished habeas corpus,  suppressed all political opposition, suppressed free elections, occupied Baltimore and other areas of the state with the military, and placed Baltimore under marshal law. (He did this other places too. In fact, DiLorenzo says in his fine book, The Real Lincoln, that Lincoln arrested over 13,000 political prisoners in the North!)

Ironically, Maryland’s present state song, “Maryland, My Maryland,” commemorates Lincoln’s invasion, purge of pro-South leaders, and his takeover of the state. Though formerly allied with the Union against the South, there were many regiments from the state who fought with the South. It should also be added that Maryland remained a slave state in the war.

This site says this about the background of the song (the same site is also the source of the lyrics):

“Maryland, My Maryland” was adopted as the State song in 1939 (Chapter 451, Acts of 1939; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-307).
The nine-stanza poem, “Maryland, My Maryland,” was written by James Ryder Randall in April 1861. A native of Maryland, Randall was teaching in Louisiana in the early days of the Civil War, and he was outraged at the news of Union troops being marched through Baltimore. The poem articulated Randall’s Confederate sympathies. Set to the traditional tune of “Lauriger Horatius” (“O, Tannenbaum”), the song achieved wide popularity in Maryland and throughout the South.

Here are the lyrics:

The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Hark to an exiled son’s appeal,
My mother State! to thee I kneel,
For life and death, for woe and weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird they beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day,
Come with thy panoplied array,
With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray,
With Watson’s blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
Come to thine own anointed throng,
Stalking with Liberty along,
And chaunt thy dauntless slogan song,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,
Virginia should not call in vain,
She meets her sisters on the plain-
“Sic semper!” ’tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back again,
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!
I see the blush upon thy cheek,
For thou wast ever bravely meek,
But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
From hill to hill, from creek to creek-
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
Thou wilt not crook to his control,
Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the blade, the shot, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the soul,
Maryland! My Maryland!
I hear the distant thunder-hum,
The Old Line’s bugle, fife, and drum,
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she’ll come! she’ll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

Scots Whae Hae (Confederate Version)

I transcribed the lyrics from the 12th Louisiana String Band, a fine group of Confederate musicians. In my Scots-Irish program, I often do the original version written by Robert Burns that records the words of Robert the Bruce to his men at the battle of Bannockburn. As so many Southerners were of Scottish origin, a Confederate version of the song should come as no surprise.

Rally round our country’s flag
Rally, boys, haste, do not lag,
Come from every vale and crag,
Sons of liberty

Northern vandals tread our soil,
Forth they come for blood and spoil,
To the homes we’ve made with toil,
Shouting slavery

Traitorous Lincoln’s bloody band
Now invades the freeman’s land
Armed with sword and firebrand,
Against the brave and free

Arm ye then for fray and fight
March ye forth by day and night
stop not till the foe’s in sight
sons of chivalry

In your veins the blood still flows
Of brave men who once arose
Burst the shackles of their foes,
Honest men and free

Rise then in your power and might
See the spoiler, brave the fight,
Strike for God, for truth for right.
Strike for liberty.