For what it's worth, I prefer the tune that The Whiskey Hill Singers use for Deportees. Maybe that's because I heard it first, but I think it's a prettier tune than the one more commonly heard.
Sweet Honey In The Rock have still a different tune.
Anyway, Woody didn't write the tune, so I guess it's ok to stray from the one folks usually sing.
In fact, I think what I sing now is a combination of the Whiskey Hill version and the more common one, mainly because they've kind of blended in my mind, with my favorite parts of each being retained.
Rich, from what I've seen of Woody's original notebooks (in the travelling Smithsonian exhibit), he probably DID write "rott'ning.'