Paul Dresser (né Dreiser) was the older brother of Theodore Dreiser, author of An American Tragedy and other novels. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Paul became an actor, playwright, songwriter, producer and music publisher, writing over a hundred songs for New York City’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’. The most famous was this one, in which he recalled his boyhood days on the banks of the Wabash river. Dresser died destitute before his fiftieth birthday, but this song gave him celebrity—above all in his native state, where it was adopted as the Indiana State Song.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002