His daddy was an honest man, red dirt Georgia farmer His mama lived her short life having kids and baling hay He had fifteen years, an ache inside to wander He hopped a freight in Waycross, wound up in L.A.
Lord, the cold nights had no pity on a Waycross Georgia farm boy Most days he went hungry, then the summer came He met a girl known on the strip as San Francisco's Mabel Joy Destitutions child born of an L.A. street called shame
Growing up came quietly in the arms of Mabel Joy Laughter found their mornings, brought a meaning to his life Yes, the night before she left, sleep came and left that Waycross Country boy with dreams of Georgia cotton and a California wife
Sunday morning found him standing 'neath the red light of her door When a right cross sent him reeling, put him face down on the floor In place of Mabel Joy he found a merchant mad marine He growled that Georgia neck is red, but sonny your still green
He turned twenty-one in a gray rock federal prison The old judge had no mercy for a Waycross Georgia boy Starin' at those four gray, in silence he would listen That midnight freight he knew would take him back to Mabel Joy
Sunday morning found him lyin' 'neath the red light of her door With a bullet in his side he cried have you seen Mabel Joy Stunned and shaken someone said she's not here no more She left this house four years today