“Dearest Mae”


The singer describes his life as a slave and his love for Mae. When master gives him a holiday, he visits Mae and they court happily; he then returns home. Master dies; the singer is sold down the river; Mae dies of grief


The notes in Brown list versions attributed to "A. F. Winnemore" and "Francis Lynch/L. V. H. Crosby." Draw your own conclusions.

It's worth noting that this is *not* a "happy slave" piece; the singer works hard, but is cruelly betrayed on his master's death, and Mae dies. In that sense, it rather resembled "Darling Nellie Gray" -- though seemingly without provoking the reactions the latter produced. - RBW


  1. BrownIII 405, "Dearest Mae" (1 text plus an excerpt -- a verse which has floated in from "Massa Had a Yellow Gal" -- and mention of 2 more)
  2. Roud #9089
  3. BI, Br3405


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1850 (The Ethiopian Glee Book)
Found in: US(SE)