Ellis Unit One

Album: Johnny Too Bad (1996)
  • I was fresh out of the service
    It was back in 82
    I raised some Cain when I come back to town
    I left to be all I could be
    Come home without a clue
    Now, I married Dawn and had to settle down

    So I hired on at the prison
    Guess I always knew I would
    Just like my dad and both my uncles done
    And I worked on every cell block
    Now, things're goin' good
    But then they transferred me to Ellis Unit One

    Swing low
    Swing low
    Swing low and carry me home

    Well, my daddy used to talk about them long nights at the walls
    And how they used to strap em in the chair
    The kids down from the college and they'd bring their beer n all
    N when the lights went out, a cheer rose in the air

    Well, folks just got too civilized
    Sparky's gatherin' dust
    Cause no one wants to touch a smokin' gun
    And since they got the injection
    They don't mind as much, I guess
    They just put em down at Ellis Unit One

    Swing low
    Swing low
    Swing low and carry me home

    Well, I've seen em fight like lions, boys
    I've seen 'em go like lambs
    And I've helped to drag em when they could not stand
    And I've heard their mamas cryin' when they heard that big door slam
    And I've seen the victim's family holdin' hands

    Last night I dreamed that I woke up with straps across my chest
    And something cold and black pullin' through my lungs
    N even Jesus couldn't save me though I know he did his best
    But he don't live on Ellis Unit One

    Swing low
    Swing low
    Swing low and carry me home
    Swing low
    Don't let go
    Swing low and carry me home Writer/s: STEVE EARLE
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc., BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 2

  • Michael from Buffalo, Nyhe sings songs from the point of view of ALL involved in an execution...check out "Billy Austin"
  • Wayne from Crockett, TxThe Ellis Unit provides a living for many of the people in the East Texas area. Incidentally the 'Walls' Steve refers to is the nickname of a prison unit in downtown Huntsville, Texas. It's called the Walls Unit because of the prison's red brick walls. You can drive right past it even today.
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