"Near the Lake Where Drooped the Willow" was a popular song in the 1830s based on the minstrel song "Long Time Ago" as performed by Thomas "Daddy" Rice. Rice purported to have gotten the song from slaves, and he supplies two sets of lyrics, the second called the "de oder [other? older?] song." William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison note that "it is not generally known that the beautiful air 'Long time ago,' or 'Near the lake where drooped the willow,' was borrowed from the negroes, by whom it was sung to words beginning, 'Way down in Raccoon Hollow.' Their book, Slave Songs of the United States, was one of Du Bois's primary sources for the Sorrow Songs.

A short write up on "Long Time Ago" can be found at the African American Odyssey exhibit from the Library of Congress. The site also has a link to a reproduction of the sheet music with the cover illustration and the lyrics.