This American Spiritual dates back to the 1860s. It wad first recorded in 1909 by The Fisk Jubilee Singers. The song has been covered by Fats Waller, Peggy Lee and Nina Simone. Johnny Cash covered the song in 1959. It was first released on the album Hymns By Johnny Cash. Paul McCartney and Carl Perkins played the song during the 1993 documentary My Old Friend.