Songwriter: Bud Freeman & Leon Pober
Last time we were here at Folsom Prison
they were hanging Joe Bean
Is Joe still here…Joe Bean?
Hang the son of a bitch anyways, right?
Well, they’re hanging Joe Bean this morning
for killing a man in Arkansas
Funny thing about it
Joe Bean has never been to Arkansas
On top of that, Joe Bean never heard of the man
In fact, today is Joe Bean’s twentieth birthday
See through the prison bars
Joe Bean, see where the gallows stand
Just twenty short years from the day you were born
you died by the hangman’s hand.
Yes, they’re hanging Joe Bean this morning
for a shooting that he never did
He killed 20 men, by the time he was 10, he was an unruly kid.
Yes, they’re hanging Joe Bean for the one shooting that Joe Bean never did.
Well, Joe – your mother is at the Capitol
asking the governor for a stay
And it’s hard on her
’cause she knows where you were, on that particular day
You were working Joe Bean, hard working, robbing the Santa Fe.
Well, the telegraph wires are humming
Here, the governor’s words come through
He said, “I can’t set you free, it’s not up to me, but there’s much, Joe Bean, I’ll do
I’ll join your mother in extending Birthday greetings to you
Happy Birthday, Joe Bean.”