This is a great song by Bob Dylan. This song tells the tale of the killing of a 51 year old barmaid, Hattie Carroll. William Zantzinger, or Zanzinger as Dylan refers to him in his song, lived in Charles County, Maryland. He was a young wealthy tobacco farmer at the time. The main incident of the song took place in the early hours of February 9, 1963, at the white tie Spinsters' Ball at the Emerson Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Using a toy cane, Zantzinger drunkenly assaulted at least three of the Emerson Hotel workers: a bellboy, a waitress, and — at about 1:30 in the morning of the 9th, Hattie Carroll, a barmaid. In addition to her work at the hotel, Hattie Carroll, at 51, was the mother of eleven children and president of a black social club. Already drunk before he had reached the Emerson Hotel that night, William Zantzinger, 24 years old and 6'2", had already assaulted employees at Eager House, a prestigious Baltimore restaurant, with the same cane. This cane was a 25 cent toy. After ordering a bourbon that Carroll didn't bring immediately, Zantzinger cursed at her, called her a "nigger", then "you black son of a bitch," and struck her on the shoulder and across the head with the cane. Soon after the blow, Carroll told co-workers, "I feel deathly ill, that man has upset me so." She collapsed and was hospitalized. Hattie Carroll died eight hours after the assault. Her autopsy showed hardened arteries, an enlarged heart, and high blood pressure, and gave brain hemorrhage as the cause of death. William Zantzinger was charged with manslaughter and assault. He spent 6 months in the county jail.
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll..
With a cane that he twirled 'round his diamond ring finger.
At a Baltimore hotel, society gath'rin.
And the cops were called in, and his weapon took from him.
As they road him in custody down to the station.
And booked William Zanzinger, for first degree murder.
"Killed by a blow..
Lay Slain by a Cane.."