The songs saluted “Johnny Reb,”
I sorta understand it,
Flies in the military’s web
Who even themselves fanned it,
Had sent those young lads out to die
Deriving comfort from a lie
Those Johnny Rebels died for nought,
Their suffering, waste and ruin
On battlefields—what war had wrought—
Patsies they were—was “Billy Yank”
Of any sterner stuff?
Does either one his peer outrank?
Should we not both rebuff?
Alas, they were too young to know—
Let God excuse them all—
But those who Justice did for go
Yet we must “traitors” call.
However innocent, the strove
For the right to enjoy
Bread of another’s labor—love
Itself thus to destroy.
Famed “southern hospitality”
Was gotten by the lash
Upon men’s backs, as slavery
Provided surplus cash.
This all involves in “Johnny Reb,”
A patsy best forgotten;
Militarism by its web
Leaves all it touches rotten.