A song for the unsung heroes who rose in the
When the life of the land was threatened by the
slaver's cruel greed,
For the men who came from the cornfield, who came
from the plough and the flail,
Who rallied round when they heard the sound of
the mighty man of the rail.
They laid them down in the valleys, they laid
them down in the wood,
And the world looked on at the work they did, and
whispered, "It is good."
They fought their way on the hillside, they
fought their way in the glen,
And God looked down on their sinews brown, and
said, "I have made them men."
They went to the blue lines gladly, and the blue
lines took them in,
And the men who saw their muskets' fire thought
not of their dusky skin.
The gray lines rose and melted beneath their
And they said, "'Tis true, they have force
to do, these old slave boys of ours."
Ah, Wagner saw their glory, and Pillow knew their
That poured on a nation's altar, a sacrificial
Port Hudson heard their war-cry that smote its
And the old free fires of their savage sires
again were kindled there.
They laid them down where the rivers, the
greening valleys gem.
And the song of the thund'rous cannon was their
And the great smoke wreath that mingled its hue
with the dusky cloud,
Was the flag that furled o'er a saddened world,
and the sheet that made their shroud.
Oh, Mighty God of the Battles Who held them in
Who gave them strength through the whole day's
length, to fight for their native land,
They are lying dead on the hillsides, they are
lying dead on the plain,
And we have not fire to smite the lyre and sing
them one brief strain.
Give, Thou, some seer the power to sing them in
The men who feared the master's whip, but did not
fear the fight;
That he may tell of their virtues as minstrels
did of old,
Till the pride of face and the hate of race grow
obsolete and cold.
A song for the unsung heroes who stood the awful
When the humblest host that the land could boast
went forth to meet the best;
A song for the unsung heroes who fell on the
Who fought their way from night and day and
struggled up to God.