yeh, wouldn't be surprised if jalenates is right. gary davis taught many of that generation guitarist in NYC. i know a Von Ronk version, Dylan probably ripped it of him [he nicked the arrangement of house of the rising sun of him]. Also got a John Martin version, so it made it to the UK - Nick Drake may well have learned it from him, because they were mates. each guitarist re-arranges it slightly
Traditional song, first performance 1905.The featured "first performance date" comes from a story told by Rev. Gary Davis, who said he heard the song in 1905 played by a man called Cole Porter (of course, not the famous Cole Porter).Rev. Davis re-arranged the tune and the lyrics and teached the song to almost every folk singer in the New York area, and for this reason many people consider him the real author.