Parchment farm?

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Fri Jun 4 01:55:28 UTC 1999

Johanna said:
>     Last night I heard the term "parchment farm" for the first time.  It
> was quoted from an old blues song from the 1950s or so, referring to a
> chain gang in Louisiana.  Does anyone know where this term came from?
> Was there a Parchment, Louisiana near the prison?  Any help would be
> greatly appreciated.

Almost certainly it was Mississippi, not Louisiana, and the reference
was to Parchman, the state penitentiary.  It has been mentioned in
various blues songs.
   --Natalie (maynor at

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