According to the Rox in the Box Songfacts, this jaunty but dark shanty is about the mining community of Butte, Montana in the early 20th century.
Get the rox in the box, get the water right down to your socks
This bulkhead's built of fallen brethren bones
We all do what we can, we endure our fellow man
And we sing our songs to the head frames creaks and moans