Civil War Lyrics  Rose of Alabama | Civil War Music

Rose of Alabama

As performed by Bobby Horton

Homespun Songs of the C.S.A., Volume 1

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The lyrics to this popular tune of African-American slave origin were written in 1846 by Silas S. Steele.  Often called the “Rose of Alabamy,” it’s an example of the many pre-war “walk-around” minstrel show songs often performed in black-face by white entertainers in Northern cities.  It has since become well-known to an entirely new generation because of its inclusion in the iconic 1976 film, “The Outlaw Josey Wales” starring Clint Eastwood.

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Away from Mississippi’s vale

With my ole hat there for a sail

I crossed upon a cotton bale

To the Rose of Alabamy.

Oh brown Rosey,

Rose of Alabamy,

The sweet tobacco posey

Is the Rose of Alabamy.


The river rolled, the crickets sang,

The lightnin’ bug he flashed his wing,

And like a rope my arms I fling

‘Round Rose of Alabamy.

Oh, brown Rosey,

Rose of Alabamy,

The sweet tobacco posey

Is the Rose of Alabamy.


So fare thee well, lil’ Liza Jane,

And fare thee, ye belles of fame,

For all your charms are put to shame

By the Rose of Alabamy.

Oh, brown Rosey,

Rose of Alabamy,

The sweet tobacco posey

Is the Rose of Alabamy.



Note: Like most other minstrel songs from that era, there are numerous alternate verses