Lenoir (1929-1967), was a bluesman from Mississippi. He was profiled in director Martin Scorcese’s documentary, The Blues. This song, from 1954, has the singer suggesting that President Dwight D. Eisenhower (in office 1953-61), was not doing enough to create jobs, forcing him on relief – social assistance.
While this 34th President was largely preoccupied with foreign affairs, perhaps Lenoir was thinking of Eisenhower’s efforts to cut back the New Deal programs. The New Deal refers to a collection of Great Depression-era social programs hinged on three “R”s – relief, recovery and reform.