1. Well, when I was a cowboy I rode out on the line
I used to pocket money, and didn't dress so fine.
I rode out on the prairie to learn to rob and steal,
An' when I downed the cowman, How jolly I did feel.
2. I wore a broad-brimmed white hat rode a horse an' saddle fine
I used to court a pretty girl, you bet I called her mine.
I courted her for heauty. an' for love that was in vain,
She sent me down to Huntsville to wear the ball an' chain.
3. One night when I was in prison I dreampt a happy dream,
I dreampt I was in old Misssouri down by some flowin' stream,
With my darlin' girl beside me, she had come to go my bail,
But I woke up broken-hearted in the Dallas County Jail.
4. An' then in come the jailor next day at twelve o'clock,
With a bunch of keys all in his hand my cell for to unlock,
Sayin' I'll chain you up, my prisoner, for I heard the jury say,
You're bound to go to Huntsville, for ten long years to stay.
5. In come my darlin' girl, ten dollars in her hand,
Sayvin' give this to my Willie, it's all that I demand,
Give this to my young cowboy, to think of olden times,
An' don't forget the darlin' girl you left so far behind.
6. While I was in the prison, my father says to me,
May heaven look down upon you, wherever you may be,
May heaven look down upon you, wherever you may go.
An' I could snatch the jury that sent my boy below.