In de dead of night I sometimes,
  Git to t'inkin' of de pas'
An' de days w'en slavery helt me
  In my mis'ry—ha'd an' fas'.
Dough de time was mighty tryin',
  In dese houahs somehow hit seem
Dat a brightah light come slippin'
  Thoo de kivahs of my dream.

An' my min' fu'gits de whuppins
  Draps de feah o' block an' lash
An' flies straight to somep'n' joyful
  In a secon's lightnin' flash.
Den hit seems I see a vision
  Of a dearah long ago
Of de childern tumblin' roun' me
  By my rough ol' cabin do'.

Talk about yo' go'geous mansions
  An' yo' big house great an' gran',
Des bring up de fines' palace
  Dat you know in all de lan'.
But dey's somep'n' dearah to me,
  Somep'n' faihah to my eyes
In dat cabin, less you bring me
  To yo' mansion in de skies.

I kin see de light a-shinin'
  Thoo de chinks atween de logs,
I kin hyeah de way-off bayin'
  Of my mastah's huntin' dogs,
An' de neighin' of de hosses
  Stampin' on de ol' bahn flo',
But above dese soun's de laughin'
  At my deah ol' cabin do'.

We would gethah daih at evenin',
  All my frien's 'ud come erroun'
An' hit wan't no time, twell, bless you,
  You could hyeah de banjo's soun'.
You could see de dahkies dancin'
  Pigeon wing an' heel an' toe—
Joyous times I tell you people
  Roun' dat same ol' cabin do'.

But at times my t'oughts gits saddah,
  Ez I riccolec' de folks,
An' dey frolickin' an' talkin'
  Wid dey laughin' an dey jokes.
An' hit hu'ts me w'en I membahs
  Dat I'll nevah see no mo'
Dem ah faces gethered smilin'
  Roun' dat po' ol' cabin do'.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.