A relentless love song & bitter critique of slavery:
The Juba Project lists several variants & numerous performances throughout the pre-war era. Mudcat lists several sources for sheetmusic and credits. Mahar’s Love and Theft also discusses this song in depth. Mahar points out this song’s relationship to an aria from Bellini’s 1831 opera, La Sonnambula (Go, listen: “Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni” / “O lovely scenes, again I see you” >>).
Note especially this 1848 TTBB setting in the Ethiopian Glee Book:
“Stand back, you white slave dealer” ~ The final verses establish a sudden resistance to the slave dealer’s coercion, which puts us in mind of Thomas Moran’s 1862 painting, “Slave Hunt”:
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