“Ballad of the Braswell Boys”


The Braswell Boys have been sentenced to death for murder. They attempt to escape from prison, but are captured. At the scaffold, among prayers and sad relatives, they confess to the crime. They are executed and buried

Historical references

  • Nov 29, 1875 - Murder of Russell and John Allison of Putnam County, TN. They were allegedly killed by Joe and George "Teek" Braswell (and two others) as the Braswells attempted a robbery
  • Mar 27, 1878 - Hanging of the Braswells. Joe confessed to his crimes, but Teek maintained his innocence to the end

Cross references

  • cf. "Life's Railway to Heaven (Life is Like a Mountain Railroad)" (tune)


  1. McNeil-SFB1, pp. 48-52, "The Ballad of the Braswell Boys" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Burt, pp. 204-206, "(The Braswell Boys)" (1 excerpted text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #4772
  4. BI, MN1048


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Burt)
Found in: US(Ap)