"The Ballad of Black Bess" is an anonymously written eighteen stanza poem describing the indignities suffered by Bess, the horse of the Confederate general John H. Morgan, as she appears in the statue entitled "General John H. Morgan and his Bess", which is located in front of the Fayette County Courthouse in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

To begin with, in the statue Bess has been given a sex change, as the sculptor apparently considered it inappropriate for a "hero (to) bestride a mare". In part, it reads:

Proud the eye of good Black Bess,
With shamelessness uncanny,
She just ignores the testicles
That hang beneath her fanny.

Bess's suffering does not end there, however, for it has become a tradition for undergraduates at the University of Kentucky to paint Bess's testicles in bright colors. The ballad also laments this practice:

So darkness comes to Bluegrass men -
Like darkness o'er them falls -
For well we know gentlemen should show
Respect for a lady's balls.

Source: Lies Across America, by James W. Loewen

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