When Louanne Met Lucy In Prison WRITTEN BY: F.D. LEONE
When Louanne met Lucy in prison
Lou was halfway through her twenty
For killin’ Ronnie Raney
Who hit her once too many
Lucy would talk all about Levi
In words tender and soft
It was old friends and old sins
Got Lucy caught
Ain’t that how it is sometimes?
Ain’t that how it is sometimes?
You’re on the verge of change
Life sends you the same ol’ same
They gave Lucy eighteen months
Easy time for most but for Lucy hard
Day by day she faded away
Behind stone walls and steel bars
Louanne tried to keep an eye on Lucy
Easy in there to come to harm
August night when they found her
Needle was still in Lucy’s arm
Ain’t that how it is sometimes …
Louanne got word to Levi
Said it best she knew how
Lucy only had six weeks left
She ain’ never gettin’ out
Levi read that letter and then
Put it in his dresser drawer
Got drunk in Vicksburg went a little further
Did a little more
Parents: Mae Grant Walker (1957- ) & Frank Wes Cooper (1951-1993). Grandparents: Lucy Calhoun Keith (1921) & Joseph Cowan Cooper (1913-1995) on her father’s side; Bessie Grant (1932- ) & Walter Calahan Walker (1931-2001) on her mother’s side.
Lucy Cooper comes from an old Mississippi family. Roy Cooper entered the state in 1794 and gradually purchased enough land to have a small sustenance farm but no slaves. His son, Frank Roy Cooper was 38 when the War Between the Sates broke out and enlisted and was made a colonel of a local regiment, and served until the very end at which time he was one of last men to fall in May of 1865. One of her great-great-grandfathers, Charles “Charley” Wooley Cooper, was ten years old at the end of the Civil War, fatherless, devoted his activities to causing as much mischief for the Reconstruction politicians in and around Jackson, Mississippi, as was possible for a small boy. So, you could say that Lucy comes from a long line of hell-raisers and people with a strong disregard for authority, however, possessing a lot of respect for their Mississippi heritage.
Lucy was in her 30s, living in Jackson, Mississippi, supporting herself with a small marijuana dealing business. Across the street from her was a bachelor, Levi Hooper, who fell in love with her, which was not entirely unrequited. She had been a small time drug dealer for the last decade primarily using marijuana but she also had done harder drugs, Dilaudid and cocaine. Levi had been coming around and she began to feel a desire to change her life around due to his overall wholesomeness and positive influence on her. See could imagine herself getting clean and starting a new life with Levi. However, one of her old friends got picked up for his own drug issues, and in order to lessen his sentence gave Lucy up as his dealer.
She was arrested and convicted for possession and distribution of marijuana and sentenced to 18 months at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (her friends incorrectly referring to it as Parchman Farm).
She knew she was pregnant when she went in, but had not informed the father, Levi Hooper. After a little over six months she gave birth to a baby boy, whom the prison authorities promptly took from her and put into foster care. She became more and more despondent and depressed and began again using Dilaudid, not orally as designed but crushing the pills and dissolving them in water for injection (“shake and bake”). She died as a result of an overdose 11 months into her sentence, and only weeks before possibly being paroled.
Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP), also known as Parchman Farm, is a prison farm, the oldest prison, and the only maximum security prison for men in the state of Mississippi.
Begun with four stockades in 1901, the Mississippi Department of Corrections facility was constructed largely by state prisoners. It is located on about 28 square miles (73 km2) in unincorporated Sunflower County, in the Mississippi Delta region.
It has beds for 4,840 inmates. Inmates work on the prison farm and in manufacturing workshops. It holds male offenders classified at all custody levels—A and B custody (minimum and medium security) and C and D custody (maximum security). It also houses the male death row—all male offenders sentenced to death in Mississippi are held in MSP’s Unit 29—and the state execution chamber.
Female prisoners are not usually assigned to MSP; Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMFC), also the location of the female death row, is the only state prison in Mississippi designated as a place for female prisoners.
CMCF opened in January 1986 with a capacity of 667 prisoners. CMCF was the first prison facility of the Mississippi Department of Corrections outside of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) in Sunflower County. Upon the opening of CMCF, female prisoners were transferred from MSP to CMCF; previously women were held in MSP Camp 25.