All My Images of Texas - TracesofTexas

Ethereal



Black water Hattie lived back in the swamp
Where the strange green reptiles crawl
Where snakes hang thick from the cypress trees
Like sausage on a smokehouse wall
Where the swamp is alive with a thousand eyes
An' all of them watching you
Stay off the track to Hattie's Shack
In the back of the Black Bayou
Just up the road from Hattie's Shack
Lies a sleepy little East Texas town
Talk of swamp witch Hattie lock you in when the sun go down
Rumours of what she'd done, rumours of what she'd do
Kept folks off the track of Hattie's shack
In the back of the Black Bayou

One day brought the rain and the rain stayed on
And the swamp water overflowed
'skeeters and the fever grabbed the town like a fist
Doctor Jackson was the first to go
Some say the plague was brought by Hattie
There was talk of a hangin', too
But the talk got shackled by the howls and the cackles
From the bowels of the Black bayou

Early one morn 'tween dark and dawn when shadows filled the sky
There came an unseen caller on a town where hope had run dry
In the square there was found a big, black, round
Vat full of gurgling brew
Whispering sounds as the folk gathered 'round
"It came from the Black Bayou"
There ain't much pride when you're trapped inside
A slowly sinken' ship
Scooped up the liquid deep and green
And the whole town took a sip
Fever went away and the very next day
the skies again were blue
"Let's thank old hattie for savin' our town
We'll fetch her from the Black Bayou."
A party of ten of the town's best men headed for Hattie's Shack
Said Swamp Witch magic was useful and good
And they're gonna bring Hattie back
Never found Hattie and they never found the shack
And they never made the trip back in
There was a parchment note they found tacked to a stump
Said "don't come look'n again"

---- Jim Stafford

Caddo Lake State Park

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