Korey Stringer is another "John Henry." His death brings home the very real threat of heat exhaustion. As I heard a doctor on TV describe it, you stop sweating, your body temperature goes to around 108 degrees, your cells die (baked), and that means you die. Korey didn't want to appear weak, I suspect. He probably wanted to set a good example for rookies. It may be that he didn't drink enough water. It takes time to drink water. Maybe time was too important.
John Henry could easily have felt that way. He couldn't stop hammering for a drink of water because it was so important to him that he beat the steam drill. He beat it, and collapsed from heat exhaustion, just like Korey.
When you hear those old work songs, calling for the water boy, don't imagine some romantic fluff. Imagine a vitally important function - if the laborers don't get water, they die. Don't think that the water boy's job was easy, either. Try carrying significant amounts of water significant distances, over and over, for 8 hours or more. If that doesn't do it for you, try carrying it uphill.