I got this from Cisco, again, as far as I can remember — it’s on his Songs of the Open Road, which was one of my favorite albums, and I can’t think where else I would have heard it.
I always liked the odd juxtaposition of the pretty, gentle lullaby melody and the verse about the policemen — radicals need to be comforted sometimes, same as everybody else. I thought the verse about “in her heart your mother loves you” was kind of sappy, but it seems less so with the passing of years.
This was composed by a Texas singer and hobo named Goebel Reeves, who had a brief run of record and radio success after Jimmie Rodgers made yodeling western songs popular. He wisely headed for New York, presented himself as an authentic western hobo, and was romantically billed as “The Texas Drifter,” “The Broadway Wrangler,” and “The Singing Bum.” He was a pretty singer, and apparently a good entertainer, but these days most of us just remember him for writing this song.