Hang Your Head Tom Dooley
Written by Annette Grady on November 12, 2022
The story of Tom Dooley is based on the true story of Tom Dula. In 1868, Tom Dula was convicted for the murder of
Laura Foster and sentenced to death by hanging. When he was executed in Wilkes County, North Carolina, many people believed that he was not guilty and that his death had been a miscarriage of justice. Dula had confessed to the crime but just before his hanging, he recanted his guilt for the murder but claimed he still deserved the punishment of death.
The song “Tom Dooley”, written by Thomas C. Land in 1866 became as widespread as the story of Laura Foster’s murder. Some believe the song played a part in the conviction of Dula.
Over the years, “Tom Dooley” has been covered by many artists including The Kingston Trio, The Dillards and even Elvis Pressley himself.
“Dooley” is just one of many murder songs in the folk, bluegrass genre.