"Working in the Coal Mine" is a song with music and lyrics by Allen Toussaint.
After Toussaint returned to New Orleans from the Army (from 1963–65), he formed a production company, Sansu, with partner Marshall Sehorn. He produced a number of singles, performed by Lee Dorsey, followed in 1965-66, including "Working in the Coal Mine".
The song was about the suffering of a man, who gets up at 5:AM in the morning, in order to work in the the coal mine five days a week, where the conditions are very harsh and dangerous, and that it's only way to make money. The singer repeatedly asks the lord "How long can this go on?" In addition, he says that when the weekend rolls around, he's too exhausted to have any fun. In the instrumental section, as as in the song's fade,He says: "Lord, I;m so Tired/ How long can this go on?".