Gospel Song – No More, My Lawd

Gospel Song – No More, My Lawd

Gospel Song – No More, My Lawd.

No More” was first recorded in 1947 at the notorious Parchman Farm of the Mississippi State Penitentiary System. The Farm was modeled after a slave plantation during the slavery era, and was called “the closest thing to slavery that survived the Civil War.” 90% of the prison population was black during the Jim Crow era in the early to mid-1900’s, because African Americans could be imprisoned for vagrancy, loitering, curfew, insulting gestures, mischief, and other so-called crimes for which whites would not be arrested. The Farm is located in the fertile Mississippi Delta, and was mostly producing cotton until recently, when the crops became fruit and vegetables. Following the Civil War, many plantation owners wanted the blacks to have the same conditions as in slavery. So the powers-that-be found a loophole in the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. They founded a program whereby the prison system would lease out prisoners during their incarceration to local plantations, where, while working off their sentence, the blacks could be exploited, inhumanely treated, and used for forced labor. Many have described the infamous Parchman Farm as legalized torture. Since most of the prison population was black, there were men, women and children as young as six years old assigned to Parchman Farm to work in slave-like conditions. “No More” was recorded by Alan Lomax, and features an axe cutting wood as the background driver of the beat. This blues song is heart-breaking when you consider the context, and brings painfully home the wrenching experience of the African Americans during Jim Crow in the South.

No More, My Lawd – YouTube

LYRICS – No More, My Lawd

No more, no more, no more, no more,

Lord I’ll never turn back no  more.

I found in Him a resting place, and He have made me glad.

Jesus, the Man I am looking for, can you tell me where He’s gone?

Go down, go down, among the flower yard, and perhaps you may find Him there. 

Dorris Henderson – 04, No More My Lord (1967, US) – YouTube

Surprisingly, and unbelievably, Parchman Farm still exists. “It remains a site of forced labor, deadly violence, and unsanitary conditions. Recent photos and videos have exposed inhumane conditions that match those from a century ago: Rat-infested cells without power or mattresses, unusable showers and toilets, and unidentifiable food. 70% of the prison population is black, while blacks make up only 37% of state population. Nine deaths were reported at Parchman Farm in January in 2020, including due to stabbings, beatings, and suicide.” (as reported by the Innocence Project, 2020). This is unacceptable in a civilized country, and is morally repugnant. Is there nothing we can do to shut down Parchman Farm, an overt and long-lasting testament to deadly and inhumane racism?

No More – YouTube


Lightning Washington and prisoners: Good God Almighty (1933) – YouTube



One Reply to “Gospel Song – No More, My Lawd”

  1. That’s terrible. Even if it were cleaned up a lot, I think the symbolism of having a prison still open with the same name at the same place should be enough to shut it down.