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This is about a man who finds out his wife has been cheating on him. He goes out into the cold night and is killed in an accident.
Nirvana covered this on their 1993 Unplugged In New York album. Kurt Cobain introduced it by saying, "This song is by my favorite performer." Earlier that year, Cobain had been offered one of Leadbelly's guitars for $50,000, although Cobain exaggerated the cost when introducing the song.
This was also one of the few songs Cobain played in public with his wife, Courtney Love. They performed it on September 8, 1993 at Club Lingerie in Los Angeles. (thanks, Matt - Millbrae, CA, for above 2)
The first "recent" cover version was by The Four Pennies under the title "Black Girl." It made the UK charts in October 1964 and rose to #20, but got nowhere in the USA. (thanks, Michael - Villereau, France)
Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"
Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.
This Kentucky singer/songwriter's hits include "She Couldn't Change Me" (recorded by Montgomery Gentry) and "It Ain't Easy Being Me."
John Doe of X
With his X-wife Exene, John fronts the band X and writes their songs.