This song is also known as I Hate the Company Bosses, and was recorded as such for "Sarah Ogan Gunning -- A Girl of Constant Sorrow," Folk Legacy (1965)/Topic (GB) (1967). According to the liner notes, the song was recorded for the Library of Congress under its original title. Moe Asch heard Sarah sing this song in 1938, and called it the most radical composition that he had ever heard. Gunning thought of it as autobiographical rather than polemical.
The song details how she lost her coal miner husband to TB, her baby "for want of milk" and her mother to "pellagry". It ends with a call to join the union.
The music is Gunning's own, but has been related to a Carter Family melody for "The Sailor Boy", and a song from Kentucky dated from about 1889 known as "On the Banks of That Lonely River".