Rivers of Texas
About the Song
We have found no "Natchez" River in Texas - that's a Mississippi name. The earliest known version of the song was collected in Arkansas in 1942 by Ozark Songfinder Vance Randolph. The singer, Mrs. Irene Carlisle, said she learned the song in 1921 from a hired man who had lived in Texas. Mrs. Carlisle used "Natchez." Faith Petric and Slim Critchlow sang "Nacodoches" in its place - but there's no Nacodoches River in Texas, either. Some people sing "Neches," and there is a river with that name in Texas.
THE RIVERS OF NEBRASKA
"We crossed the wide Platte,
We forded the Platte,
Swam the Platte,
And followed the Platte."
Alternate lyrics of first 2 lines of v.3 (per Bill Staines):
The girls on Little River, you can’t do no wrong
/ The Sabine & Sulphur are still mighty long