This is probably the best known of all logging songs, though its origin has been lost. It's popularity extended from Midwest and Eastern U.S. logging camps onto sailing ships and docks. The song probably dates from the 1860s, but the location of Gerry's (Garry's, Derry's, Geary's) Rocks are unknown. Shay's version was published in 1928, and the oldest known text is dated 1904.
The song's subject matter and popular appeal solidified its presence in the crew quarters aboard Great Lakes ships.