This is about life of coal miners. Their living conditions in a coal mining patch where life was very rough. The constant danger of flooding, explosions or cave ins. Their life is no different than the life of slaves. As a slave you were bought and you had to work for your master, but you were provided a house or living quarters, food, clothing, medicine and on weekends on bigger plantations they would have dancing, on Sundays they would have church services. In a coal mining town your master was the coal barren who ran your life, they would rent you the house, they would have their own company store, which they would keep a book under the counter and write down stuff you didn't buy, you are responsible for all your bills and the pay was very low. It was hard to keep you and your family feed and cloth. But you need work in these dangerous conditions. If you died in the mine your family would be thrown out of the house and into the street. Later in life you could died from black lung disease.