Born: Ju­ly 19, 1837, Lou­is­ville, Ken­tucky.

Died: Ju­ly 23, 1907, Lou­is­ville, Ken­tucky.

Buried: Cave Hill Cem­e­te­ry, Lou­is­ville, Ken­tucky.

Hays at­tend­ed col­lege in Han­o­ver, In­di­ana; Clarks­ville, Ten­nes­see; and George­town, Ken­tuck­y. His first song, “Lit­tle Ones at Home” was pub­lished in 1856, while he was stu­dy­ing at George­town Coll­ege. Af­ter col­lege, he be­came a re­port­er for the Lou­is­ville, Ken­tucky, Dem­o­crat. Dur­ing the Amer­i­can ci­vil war, he was jailed in New Or­leans for writ­ing songs sym­pa­the­tic to the sou­thern cause. Af­ter the war, he worked on steam­boats on the Mis­sis­sip­pi and Ohio Riv­ers, and rose to cap­tain of the ship Gray Ea­gle. Lat­er, he be­came a col­umn­ist at the Lou­is­ville Cour­i­er-Jour­nal, where he worked some 30 years. He re­port­ed­ly wrote over 350 songs in his life­time; one of them, “Mol­lie Dar­ling,” sold over a mil­lion co­pies, an in­cred­i­ble fig­ure in that day.



  1. Salva­tion (Hays)