Rusty Young, one of Poco's frontmen, was inspired by the legend of Old West outlaw Rose Dunn, also known as Rose of the Cimarron. "'Rose of Cimarron' is a song I wrote after I picked up a brochure while Poco were on tour in Oklahoma in 1973," Young explained. "It told a story of a woman who took in outlaws in the 1800s. She fed them, mended their wounds and sent them on their way. Or so they say... When I played 'Rose' for the band, everyone wanted to make it a Poco record."
Lead vocals were performed by Poco guitarist Paul Cotton and bassist Timothy B. Schmit.
Emmylou Harris covered this on her 1981 album, Cimarron.
Suggestion credit: Greg - Durham, NC, for above 3
Rose Dunn was romantically involved with George "Bittercreek" Newcomb, who ran with fellow outlaw Bill Doolin's Wild Bunch gang. In 1893, the gang was caught in a gunfight with US Marshals in Ingalls, Oklahoma. Newcomb survived, but was later killed by the Dunn Brothers, outlaws-turned-bounty hunters who also happened to be Rose's brothers. Rose was accused of tipping them off to the gang's movements, a claim she and her brothers denied.