[Philadelphia: A.W. Auner, 1850s?]. Broadside song sheet, 5-1/8" x 7-7/8", wood engraving of a hog beneath the title. Text surrounded by decorative border. Without music. Four stanzas, and chorus. One small chip at a blank upper corner, Very Good plus.
The song, illustrative of the casual racism common in the northern States, begins: "The greatest old Nigger that ever I did see,/ Looked like a sick monkey up a sour apple tree."
The phrase, "root hog or die," was common contemporary advice that the person addressed had better rely on his own efforts and wits, since there was no "safety net" to catch him if he fell. "The Chestnut Street Niggers look so mighty grand,/ Shanghi coats and gloves upon the hand,/ A big standing collar, standing away up to the sky,/ Little pig, big pig, root hog or die."
Wolf, American Song Sheets 2026. OCLC 64662203 [1- Williams], 476372090 [1- NYHS]as of November 2019. Item #36377