Street in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, was the center of activity
in the tenderloin district known as St. Paul's Bottoms. Legendary bluesman
Leadbelly was a frequent performer
along Fannin Street in the early years of the twentieth century. Although
most of the saloons and houses of ill repute on Fannin Street are now closed,
shotgun houses like the ones pictured here remain from the wild St. Paul's
Angola Prison is located at the end
of Louisiana State Road 66. The state bought the antebellum plantation property
because it occupied a bend in the Mississippi River. Prisoners trying to
escape often drowned in the river's treacherous waters. Bluesman Robert
Pete Williams served time at Angola, but the prison's most famous inmate
was Leadbelly. John and Alan Lomax,
recording folk songs for the Library of Congress, recorded Leadbelly (among
others) here for the first time.
outside of the prison gates, Angola's Prison Museum
features artifacts and exhibits on prison life, jail breaks, and executions.
The museum has a small exhibit dedicated to their most famous prisoner,
Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter.