Labor Day – The Gift WV Miners Died For

September 7, 2020
Fred Mooney and Frank Keeney

On Labor Day we pay tribute to the workers of our country. We especially want to thank the West Virginia coal miners and their families who suffered through severe punishment and even death in trying to organize to join the United Mine Workers in the early 1900s, bringing an end to the industrialized police-state of the coal fields.

The West Virginia miner’s fight for justice eventually helped lead the U.S. to labor practices such as a 40-hour work week, fairer wages, an end to child labor practices, and many more workers’ rights.

Several stories shared by miners who lived during that era told of the torture and murder of men who were suspected of Union organizing. At least one coal company superintendent was known to have called those miners the “Lost Souls” and referred to the room where these men were punished and killed as “The Room of Lost Souls.”

The song “Room Of Lost Souls” on my album “Devil in the Hills: Coal Country Reckoning” shares those stories. You can find more stories and songs at the website

“The Room of Lost Souls.”

Help Us Keep The Stories Alive

Your purchase of the Devil In The Hills album and booklet package helps keep this important history alive. Your support helps us continue writing more songs as more stories are discovered.

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