"Poor Goins"

Poor Goins main page | song & audio

According to Sam Adams, uncle of folklorist James Taylor Adams, Alexander Goins was killed in 1844 by thieves in Wise County (at the time, Lee County). Goins was ambushed by robber George Hall and others hiding along the trail, but he escaped to the house of Ely Boggs. Unfortunately for Goins, Boggs was in league with the highwaymen. Saying that he could show Goins another route out of the area, Boggs led Goins to where Hall's men were hiding, and Goins was shot and killed. Another version of the tale has it that Goins himself was an evil man and he was shot by settlers.

The song is attributed to Gabriel Church of Wise County. Born in 1825, Church reportedly wrote hundreds of songs, many of them religious, but this is the only one known to have survived.

Poor Goins main page | song & audio

Deathly Lyrics:
Songs of Virginia Tragedies


Audio Credits


Breeding Mill

Caty Sage


Dewey Lee


Freeda Bolt

Great Kanawha

Kent Steffie

Mollie Tynes

Old 97

Poor Goins

Roanoke Riot

Rye Cove

Talt Hall

Vance Song

Wreck of the 1256