"On western Georgia's sandy soil, Within a lonesome prison pen, Lay many a thousand shattered forms Who once was brave and loyal men." The hellish conditions are described. One man, dying, remembers his widowed mother and sweetheart
Conditions for soldiers in Civil War armies were usually bad, and the fate of prisoners was worse. But there was no place in the world, before the concentration camps, that could compare with Andersonville prison. Never larger than 26 acres, it held, at times, more than 32,000 soldiers!
Although they were (theoretically) granted the same rations as Confederate field soldiers, the inadequate sanitation and health care led to immense death rates. Nearly 13,000 men are known to have been buried there, and it is generally conceded that many more died without having any monument.
Andersonville was opened in February of 1864, and was finally closed in April 1865. Its commander, Major Harry Wirz, was executed in November 1865. He was the only man in the entire Confederacy condemned for what we would now call "war crimes."
This song is item dA39 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW