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The concealed 'pig iron' might be referring to smuggling slaves to freedom.
"Rock Island Line" is an American blues/folk song, which was performed and first recorded by Lead Belly in the 1,930s. Versions of the song have been recorded by many other artists. While the song is ostensibly about the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, from the lyrics there is evidence to suggest that the "railroad" referred-to is actually the Underground Railroad, a slave escape route