I was riding Number Nine,
Heading south from Caroline.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
Got in trouble, had to roam,
Left my gal an' left my home.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
Just a kid, acting smart,
I went and broke my darling's heart,
I guess I was too young to know.
They took me off the Georgia Main,
Locked me to a ball and chain.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

All alone I bear the shame,
I'm a number, not a name.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
All I do is set an' cry
When the evening train goes by.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

I'll be locked here in this cell
Till my body's just a shell
An' my hair turns whiter than snow.
I'll never see that gal of mine.
Lord, I'm in Georgia doing time.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.