Snuffy and Liland- Thanks for the variations and the information. Interesting, even to a non-scholar like myself. The nearest tune to ours is one of the MIDI versions: Southern Harmony 1835 (arr. Wm. Walker). But we never had songbooks; I think Granny Katty had heard it sung in the Old Regular Baptist Church she went to, and just disremembered the tune. She love to sing but was not very good with getting tunes right, so over the years "our" tune evolved. If you care to you can hear my family singing it (it's the song sample from my Christmas record, "Kentucky Christmas- Old & New"). Don't know how to put it online here, but you can go to my site, www.jeanritchie.com click on Recordings, find the Christmas record then click on the song sample.
Anyway, this is the "folk" way the song is sung in the Kentucky Mountains! Jean