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"In the Baggage Coach Ahead" Lyrics, after 1896

 File — Box: 4265.001, Folder: 12

Scope and Contents

This file contains a handwritten version of the 1896 folk song "In the Baggage Coach Ahead." The song, by African American songwriter Gussie Davis, is about a man riding a train with his infant child who tells the other passengers that his wife "is dead in the coach ahead." There are five verses of the song included here.


  • after 1896

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of this collection has been restricted by Archives and Special Collections in order to preserve the original materials. Contact University Libraries Special Collections at or 205.348.0500 for information on access to the restricted portions of this collection.

The rest of the collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Biographical / Historical

African American composer and songwriter Gussie Lord Davis (1863-1899) was born in Dayton, Ohio. He received private musical training at Nelson Musical College in Cincinnati while he worked there as a janitor, after his application to the college was rejected due to his race. He moved to New York City in 1880 and was the first African American songwriter to become famous on Tin Pan Alley, New York's music publishing district. He wrote a number of popular songs, including "We Sat Beneath the Maple on the Hill," "Send Back the Picture and the Ring," "In the Baggage Coach Ahead," "Down on Poverty Row," and "The Fatal Wedding."


From the Collection: 3.8 Linear Feet


Formerly MSS.1908

Local Identifier


Processing Information

Processed by Brittany Ray, 2007.

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266