This song was written by T.J. Arnall and has been played by bands raging from George Thurogood to Hank Williams III to Soul Asylum, but the definitive singer has to be Johnny Cash. The version featured on At Folsom Prison is excellent, with the prisoners in the audience cheering on the protagonist. The only other version that even comes close is a live bootleg I heard by Uncle Tupelo

Ice-T (a huge Johnny Cash fan) has called this the first ever gangsta rap song.

Early one morning while makin' the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed
I stuck that lovin' .44 beneath my head

Got up next morning and I grabbed that gun
I took a shot of cocaine and away I run
Made a good run but I run too slow
They overtook me down in Juarez, Mexico

Laid in the hot joint, takin' the pill
There walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill
He said “Willy Lee, your name is not Jack Brown
You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down”

Yes oh yes my name is Willy Lee
If you've got a warrant just’a read it to me
I shot her down 'cause she made me slow
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more

When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they took me back
Had no friend who'd go my bail
They slapped my dried-up carcass in the county jail

Early next morning 'round half past nine
I spotted the sheriff comin' down the line
That sheriff yelled as he cleared his throat
Said come on you dirty hack into the district court

Into the courtroom my trial began
Where I was held by twelve honest men
Just before the jury started out
I saw that little judge commence to look about

In about five minutes in walked a man
Holding the verdict in his right hand
The verdict read in the first degree
I hollered Lordy Lordy have mercy on me

The judge he smiled when he picked up his pen
Ninety-nine years in the Folsom Pen
Ninety-nine years underneath that ground
But I can't forget the day I shot that bad bitch down

Come on, you gotta listen unto me
Stay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be

The lyrics to this song by T.J. Arnall are in the public domain.

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