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Cold Statesville Ground

This song is by Robbie Fulks and appears on the album South Mouth (1997).

Well you know my name is William Hayes
Here in North Caroline I been all my days
Led a Christian life, and only God can tell
How it could've come to end in this Statesville cell.
I remember that night, how the storm did blow
In the blinding rain, she'd strayed from the road
But when my highbeam lights caught hold of her eyes
I could see the fires of Hell, and our bodies inside.

So let me walk that hall, let me face that man
You can tell the chaplain not to hold my hand
'Cause there ain't no prayer that'll save me now
Or raise my soul up from the cold statesville ground.

Down the road I drove to a fresh-plowed field
Her fearful thoughts she could scarce conceal
When I took her by the hair, she cried out loud:
"Dear God, spare a helpless soul, don't let me die now."

But her cries grew still, and her breath came slow
Ever lower she fell with every hammer blow
Her bones I stripped, and her grave I dug
As the earth beneath me darkened with her heart's blood.

Now the hour draws nigh, the last bell tolls
How heavy my chains, how still my soul
But somewhere in the dark, a newborn cries
And a mother looks down with love into a killer's eyes.

Turn away young man, from the siren's spell
Turn back from the path where only torment dwells
Heed well the tale of William Hayes
Born 35 years ago, and he'll hang today.

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