Parallel Anthology Track 25
Track 25: The Bentley Boys - Down on Penny's Farm Columbia 15565; Recorded in Johnson City, Tennessee, 23.10.1929
Harry Smith's anthology notes call this song "a regionalized recasting of an earlier song 'Hard Times'."
This discussion on www.mudcat.org (post from 3.31PM, 9th September 07) gives the lyrics for a version of "Hard Times" dating from at least 1861. However, although there is a lot of similarity between the structure and lyrics of the two songs, the setting of the song is entirely different.
As the details of who wrote this version of the song, and when it was written are unknown, the copyright status of this composition is unknown.
Hard Times in the Mill by Pete Seeger album released in 1957: Spotify Liner notes for this album date this song to 1890, credit authorship to the mother of a mill worker, state that the melody comes from another song and make no claim to arrangement.
On Tanner's Farm by Gid Tanner and Riley Puckett recorded in 1934 (according to RFSI): Spotify No image of record label available. allmusic credits authorship of this song to Gid Tanner, who died in 1960 (according to wikipedia). However, this song is so similar to the Bentley Brothers' version, other than the name "Tanner" being used instead of "Penny", that the validity of this claim seems doubtful.