When I was a young man I lived on the square,
I never had any pocket change and I hardly thought it fair.
So out on the crosses I went to rob and to steal,
And when I met a peddler oh, how happy I did feel.
One morning, one morning, one morning in May
I seen a man a-coming, a little bit far away.
I seen a man a-coming, come riding up to me
"Come here, come here, young fellow, I'm after you to-day."
He taken me to the new jail, he taken me to the new jail,
And I had to walk right in.
There all my friends went back on me
And also my kin.
I had an old rich uncle, who lived in the West,
He heard of my misfortune, it wouldn't let him rest.
He came to see me, he paid my bills and score,
I have been a bad boy, I'll do so no more.
There's Minnie and Alice and Lucy likewise,
They heard of my misfortune brought tears to their eyes.
I've told 'em my condition, I've told it o'er and o'er.
So I've been a bad boy, I'll do so no more.
I will go to East Texas to marry me a wife,
And try to maintain her the balance of my life.
I'll try to maintain. I'll lay it up in store
I've been a bad boy, I'll do so no more.
Young man, you robber, you had better take it fair,
Leave off your marshal killing and live on the square.
Should you meet the marshal, just pass him by.
And travel on the muscular, for it's root hog or die.
When I drew my money I drew it all in cash
And off to see my Susan, you bet I cut a dash.
I spent my money freely and went it on a bum,
And I love the pretty women and am bound to have my fun.
I used to sport a white hat, a horse and buggy fine,
Courted a pretty girl and always called her mine.
But all my courtships proved to be in vain,
For they sent me down to Huntsville to wear the ball and chain.
Along came my true love, about twelve o'clock,
Saying, "Henry, O Henry, what sentence have you got ?"
The jury found me guilty, the judge would allow no stay,
So they sent me down to Huntsville to wear my life away.