Ain't No More Cane

The Band

About Ain't No More Cane

"Ain't No More Cane on This Brazos" is a traditional prison work song of the Southern United States. The title refers to work assigned to prisoners sentenced to hard labor in Texas. The labor involved cutting sugar cane along the banks of the Brazos River, where many of the state's prison farms were located in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It has been recorded by Alan Lomax on his 1958 recording Texas Folk Songs Sung by Alan Lomax as "Ain't No More Cane on This Brazis", Odetta, Lonnie Donegan, the Limeliters on their album 14 14K Folksongs (1963), Son Volt on the album A Retrospective: 1995-2000, and The Band on the album Across the Great Divide. Bob Dylan also performed the song live in the early 1960s and his version is on multiple bootleg recordings taken from The Gaslight Cafe. An extensive set of lyrics to the song, as sung by inmates of Central State Farm near Houston, Texas, appears in folklorist John Lomax's book American Ballads and Folk Songs, originally published in 1934. Lomax collected another version of the song in a recording of a performance by Ernest Williams and James (Iron Head) Baker; the recording appears on the Document Records album Field Recordings, Vol. 6: Texas (1933-1958). 


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