"You can talk about your picnics and trips on the lake, / But a trip on the Erie you bet takes the cake!" A summary of life on the Erie canal, ending with comments about the cook: "A dumpling, a pet, / And we use her for a headlight at night on the deck!"
The Erie Canal, as originally constructed, was a small, shallow channel which could only take barges. These vessels -- if such they could be called -- were normally hauled along by mules.
The Lomaxes, in _American Ballad and Folk Songs_, thoroughly mingled many texts of the Erie Canal songs (in fairness, some of this may have been the work of their informants -- but in any case the Lomaxes did not help the problem). One should check all the Erie Canal songs for related stanzas. - RBW