I’ve just added a couple of songs to the lyrics page, including Louisiana Dawn. The song is about Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola, which had a reputation for brutality. Gruesome Gertie was the mobile electric chair housed at the prison; back then it was required that a condemned man be executed in the county in which the crime was committed, hence the need for a mobile electric chair.
The Red House was a particularly unpleasant cell block which housed prisoners deemed troublesome, they wore red-painted hats so the warders could see them when they were working in the fields or the levees.
In the song, a prisoner dreams of his lost love but is then roused from his dream by the jailer’s baton on the bars, the bittersweet arrival of the Louisiana Dawn.