Contra toadfrog, I did not think the question was a simple "who wrote this?" Because, I was thinking, if that were the question, then fjsmith would simply have said, "Hey, who wrote this?" The more general question of origin led me to believe we were inquiring about what it was that triggered the composition.
Oh, well. Earliest known recording I'm aware of is Lead Belly's; Lipscomb, as I said, did a different but related song.
Now to answer the question I thought was being asked:
Percentages of passengers SAVED by class/gender/age:
1st Class children, 100%, women 97%, men 33%. 2nd Class children, 100%, women 86%, men 8% 3rd Class children, 34%, women 46%, men 16%.
22% percent of male crew and 87% of female crew were saved.
"They were nine days out of Liverpool, and almost to the shore,
When the rich refused to associate with the poor;
So they put them down below, where they were first to go.
It was sad when the great ship went down."