The Minnesota Tapes

Title: Black Cross
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: The Minnesota Tapes (Track #15)
Duration: 04:09
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

There was a man called Hezekiah Jones once An' he never had much except a farm an' some land. He ate what he raised. 'T was in a cupboard He kept there in the cupboard, what he called "for the rainy season". But this one he'd have somethin' left over He'd spend it an' he'd buy books An' he'd read his books, kept there in the cupboard. White folks around the county said, "Well he's harmless enough i suppose But well look at it, He better put down them goddamn books Readin' ain't no good for an ignorant nigger''. Reverent Greene of the white men's church came around that year Knockin' on doors, he knocked on Hezekiah's door He says, "Hezekiah you believe in the lord?'' Hezekiah says, "Well i never seen the lord, i can say as i do.'' Reverent says, "Hezekiah you believe in the church?' Hezekiah says, "Well church is divided, ain't they? They can't make up their minds, i can't make up mine either.'' Reverent says, "Hezekiah you believe in that if a man is good, heaven is his last reward?'' Hezekiah says, "I'm good, i'm good, i'm as good as my neighbor.'' "You don't believe in nothin'', says the white men's preacher. "Oh yes i do'', says Hezekiah "I believe that a man should be beholdin' to his neighbor Not for the reward of heaven or the fear of hell's fire.'' "But you don't understand'', says the white men's preacher "There's a lot of good ways for a man to be wicked''. And they hung Hezekiah as high as a pigeon White folks around said, "Well he had it comin', the son of a bitch never had no religion!''