His daddy was an honest man, a red dirt Georgia farmer
His mama lived her young life having kids and bailing hay
He had fifteen years and an ache inside to wander
Jumped a freight in Waycross and wound up in L.A.
The cold nights had no pity on that Waycross, Georgia farm boy
Most days, he went hungry then the summer came
He met a girl known on the Strip as San Francisco's Mabel Joy
Destitution's child born on an L.A. street called Shame
Growing up came quietly in the arms of Mabel Joy
Laughter found the mornings that brought the meaning to his life
Night before she left sleep came and found that Waycross country boy
With dreams of Georgia cotton and a California wife
Sunday morning found him 'neath the red light at her door
A right cross sent him reelin' and put him face down on the floor
In place of Mabel Joy he found a merchant mad marine
He said, "Your Georgia neck is red but Sonny you're still green"
He turned twenty one in a gray rock Federal prison
The judge had no mercy on this Waycross, Georgia boy
Starin' at those four gray walls in silence, Lord he'd listen
To the midnight freight he knew could take him back to Mabel Joy
Sunday morning found him 'neath the red light at her door, with a bullet
In his side he cried, "Have you seen Mabel Joy?", stunned and shaken
Someone said, "She don't live here no more, she left this house
Four years ago, she was lookin' for some Georgia farm boy"