This traditional spiritual song rose to prominence during the antebellum slave liberation movement, and again during the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It's a protest song about the refusal to bow to the powers that be, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in: "Like a tree planted by the water, I shall not be moved."
Some of the artists to record this include Son House, The Jordanaires, Charley Patton, Johnny Cash and Freda Payne.
This follows a typical pattern with spiritual songs where one line changes with each verse, making it easy for large groups to sing.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3