Oh! Susanna was written by Stephen Foster in 1848.
This was actually Foster's first hit, and was performed in minstrel shows all over the United States. Later in life, Foster deleted the second verse, feeling that it was offensive.
It's a nonsense song -- it's meant to be funny, not sad. Keep in mind it was being performed by white guys in blackface, and it was before Foster made it his mission to reform the minstrel show.
by Stephen Foster, 1848
I come from Alabama with my Banjo on my knee
I'se gwine to Lou'siana my true lub for to see.
It rain'd all night de day I left, de wedder it was dry;
The sun so hot I froze to def -- Susanna, don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, do not cry for me;
I come from Alabama,
Wid my Banjo on my knee.
I jump'd aboard the telegraph and trabbled down de ribber,
De lectrick fluid magnified, and kill'd five hundred Nigga.
De bulgine bust and de hoss ran off, I really thought I'd
I shut my eyes to hold my bref--Susanna don't you cry.
I had a dream de udder night, when ebry ting was still;
I thought I saw Susanna dear, coming down de hill,
De buckwheat cake was in her mouf, de tear was in her eye,
I says, I'se coming from de souf, --Susanna don't you cry.