“The Hero” is a song that narrates the story of a remarkable individual who played a pivotal role in ending human slavery in 1855. The protagonist, the gray-haired daddy, leads a Robinhood gang that actively opposes slavery, committing underground war crimes to help enslaved people escape to freedom. The gang, consisting of a hundred strong men in the summer of 1861, targets plantation owners in the South, seizing their wealth and liberating enslaved people.
Throughout the Civil War (1861-1865), the Robinhood gang became wanted by Confederate soldiers for their war crimes. They were charged with stealing plantations and freeing enslaved people during this tumultuous period. The gang also establishes an underground bank, engaging in activities such as robbing banks and jewelry stores in the South to fund the liberation of enslaved people. The song highlights their efforts in organizing a steam train to transport freed families northward in 1863, contributing to the fight for freedom and liberty during the Civil War.
The narrative extends to 1909 when the gray-haired daddy passes away at 89, having lived a fulfilling life. Contrary to expectations, he dies as a millionaire, challenging societal norms and leaving a legacy of strength and resilience, particularly for Black lives. The song’s overall theme emphasizes the heroism and impact of this individual in the context of the struggle against slavery and the pursuit of freedom.