"My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night
!" is an anti-slavery ballad written by Stephen Foster
, probably composed in 1852. It was published in January 1853 by Firth, Pond, & Co. of New York. Foster was likely inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, with imagery witnessed on his visits to the Bardstown, Kentucky farm called Federal Hill. In Foster's sketchbook, the song was originally entitled "Poor Uncle Tom, Good-Night!", but he altered it to "My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!" Frederick Douglass wrote in his 1855 autobiography My Bondage and My Freedom that the song "awakens sympathies for the slave, in which antislavery principles take root, grow, and flourish". "My Old Kentucky Home" is the state song of Kentucky, adopted in 1928. Today you hear it at sporting events in Kentucky, most notably the Kentucky Derby.