Southern Marseillaise

This text is an excerpt from Allan’s Lone Star Ballads: a Collection of Southern Patriotic Songs, Made During Confederate Times.
Allan D. Francis
Grade Level

This text is part of the Teaching Hard History Text Library and aligns with Key Concept 7.


Sons of the South, awake to glory! 

A thousand voices bid you rise; 

Your children, wives and grandsires hoary, 

Gaze on you now with trusting eyes! 

Gaze on you now with trusting eyes! 

Your country every strong arm calling, 

To meet the hireling Northern band 

That comes to desolate the land, 

With fire and blood and scenes appalling: 

To arms, to arms, ye brave! 

The avenging sword unsheathe! 

March on! march on! 

All hearts resolv’d on victory or death! 


Now, now, the dangerous storm is rolling, 

Which treach’rous brothers madly raise: 

The dogs of war let loose are howling, 

And soon our peaceful towns may blaze! 

And soon our peaceful towns may blaze! 
Shall fiends who basely plot our ruin. 

Uncheck’d, advance with guilty stride, 

To spread destruction far and wide, 

With Southrons’ blood their hands imbruing? 


With needy, starving mobs surrounded, 

The jealous, blind fanatics dare 

To offer, in their zeal unbounded, 

Our happy slaves their tender care 

Our happy slaves their tender care! 

The South, tho’ deepest wrong bewailing, 

Long yielding all to Union’s name, 

But Independence now we claim, 

And all their threats are unavailing! 

This text is in the public domain. Retrieved from http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15012coll8/id/10156/rec/46.
Text Dependent Questions
  1. Question
    Based on the lyrics, what is the Confederate goal of the Civil War?
    The lyrics suggest the Confederate goal is independence from the north in order to maintain the status quo of the South, including the institution of slavery.
  2. Question
    Select passages from the lyrics that promote a sense of patriotism.
    Answers will vary and may include these: “Sons of the South, awake to glory!” “Your country every strong arm calling,” “The South, tho’ deepest wrong bewailing, Long yielding all to Union’s name, But Independence now we claim, And all their threats are unavailing!”
  3. Question
    What effect does the repetition of various lines have on the reader? How do literary devices inform your understanding?
    Answers will vary.
  4. Question
    How does the title of the poem offer a different interpretation of the Civil War?
    Answers will vary and students will need to know “La Marseillaise” is the title of the French national anthem and was composed during the French Revolution.
Reveal Answers