Traditional worksong arranged by Avery Robinson, who picked it up from black chaingangers in Alabama. Being white he first gave it to black tenor Roland Hayes, who apparantly never recorded it.
Fats Waller [on organ]
Earl Hines [vocal: Billy Eckstine]
Don Shirley Trio [after 1'40" the melody line becomes a blueprint for the tune of Put Your Hand In The Hand (see there)]
Many floating verses in the lyrics. The line "there ain't no hammer that's on this mountain, That rings like mine" comes back in Nine Pound Hammer / Spike Driver Blues (Take This Hammer) (see there). Jimmie Strothers' version of Take This Hammer even uses the melody line of Water Boy.