Shelton Laurel Valley
Madison County was a mean place to be
Way back in the winter of 1863
Didn’t matter much which side you were on
You could wake up in the morning and the next one you’d be gone

Dark times in the mountains, hell was sure to pay
And the worst was yet to come one January day
Ten men and three young boys, gun smoke in the air
Shot so quick they didn’t have the time to say a prayer

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t
Dead if you will, dead if you won’t
Laid in a hole, up on the hill
At Shelton Laurel Valley thirteen men were killed

Charged with stealing salt but killed by burning hate
It was hell in Carolina in the war between the states
Even those who fired the shots surely knew the shame
But if they didn’t do it, their fate would be the same


Now the story fills the books and it’s filling up my brain
And I wonder through the years how much has really changed
I can’t find the answer but this I know is true
If our hearts are filled with anger we’d pull the trigger too