“Gustave Ohr”


Gustave Ohr recalls his quiet youth and how he fell in with (George) Mann's evil company. Eventually they attacked a man in a sugar camp. Ohr was taken and condemned to die. He concludes by thanking various legal officers for their kindness

Supplemental text

Gustave Ohr
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

Story of Gustave Ohr

From Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio, #121, pp. 274-276.
From the inscription on the back of a photograph, said to be of
Ohr, in the possession of Mrs. Lydia Lormer of Dalton, Ohio.

1. My name is Gustave Ohr,
      The same I'll never deny,
   Which leaves my aged parents
      In sorrow for to cry.
   It's little did they ever think,
      While in my youthful bloom,
   They brought me to America
      To meet my fatal doom.

2. In bad houses of liquor
      I used to take delight,
   And consequently my associates
      They used me there invite
   It was on a certain day,
      As you shall quickly see,
   I was enticed into Mann's company
      By a bottle of whisky.

3. It was in the town of Alliance,
      As we were traveling,
   Mann picked up an iron
      Commonly called a coupling pin.
   As we got into Webb's sugar camp,
      We all laid down to rest,
   When Mann steps up to me and says
      Our chances are now the best.

4. He says now let us stun him,
      And take his things away,
   And we will go to New York city
      And spend fourth of July day.
   To Beloit, then, we quickly fled,
      Thinking to escape, but
   The hand of Providence was against us,
      Indeed we were too late.

5. Then we were taken prisoners,
      And brought unto our doom,
   To die upon the scaffold,
      All in our youthful bloom.
   Our trial came on quickly,
      Condemned we were to die,
   A death upon the scaffold,
      All on the gallows high.

6. I am thankful to the Sheriff
      For his kindness to me,
   Likewise my noble lawyer
      Who tried to set me free;
   And also to my clergymen
      Who brought my mind to bear
   That there is a good and holy judge
      Way up in heavenly sphere.


As "The Story of Gustave Ohr," this song is item dE39 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1879 - George Mann and Gustave Ohr attack, rob, and beat to death John Whatmaugh. They are condemned to death later in the year

Cross references

  • cf. "Charles Guiteau" [Laws E11] (meter) and references there
  • cf. "Charles Mann" (meter, subject)


  1. Eddy 121, "Story of Gustave Ohr" (1 text)
  2. ST E121 (Full)
  3. Roud #4099
  4. BI, E121


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (Eddy)
Found in: US(MW)