This work is one of the more long-standing examples mis-attribution. In the 1934 collection, Niles describes the work as a traditional folk-carol. Decades later (in his 1975 collection The Songs of John Jacob Niles and in an unpublished autobiography), Niles admitted that he composed the work in July 1933 based upon some melodic fragments sung to him in Murphy, North Carolina by Annie Morgan. The work is not really an American folksong but a new composition partly based on possible traditional material and therefore under copyright worldwide. Nothing based upon it can be added here without the written permission of the copyright owners.