The Forge - The song is crafted by Robbie Robertson. According to Rob Bowman in the liner notes to the 2000 reissue of the Band's second album, The Band, The album was thought to be a concept album about Old America, according to Robertson. Over the years Robertson has tended to exaggerate his part in some song writing processes and music history. So wouldn’t go as a shock if the rest of the band disagree with that statement.

The lyrics tell of the last days of the American Civil War and the suffering of white Southerners.

Robertson stated that he had that song in his head for years and could never get on down on paper.