Here are some lyrics for 'When I die' collected by Perrow in the early 1900's. I see a strong connection with Libby Cotton's "Freight Train."
In your opinion is 'Freight Train' a version of this song? Anyone have more info about this song and different titles etc.
WHEN I DIE Perrow
(From East Tennessee; mountain whites; from recitation of F. Le Tellier; 1907.)
When I die,1 don' bury me a tall,
But soak my body in alcohol.
When I die, bury me deep,
En put a quart u' licker at my head en feet.
When I die, don' bury me a tall,
But take me down to Bowery Hall;
Take off my coat en open my vest,
En tell all the girls I'm gone to rest.
(From Mississippi; negroes; MS. of Mr. Harrison; 1909.)
When I die don't bury me at all;
Preserve my bones in alcohol;
Fold my arms across my breast,
Natural born . . . gone to rest.
Natural born . . . don't have to work;
Carry a recommendation on the tail of my shirt.
(From Mississippi; negroes; MS. of W. G. Pitts; 1909.)
When I die, bury me deep;
Tell all the gamblers that I've gone to sleep.
Put a pair of bones in my right hand,
And I'll throw seven in the promised land.