"Hey Porter" is Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two's first recording and John wrote the song with fellow band mates Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant after Sam Phillips (Owner of Sun Record) turned down "I Was There When It Happened", the song John, Luther, and Marshall auditioned with. Sam didn't want a gospel song, he wanted a fast song, like Elvis Presley's "That's All right". The song is about John on his way home from a four year stint in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Landsberg, Germany, and as such felt elated to be returning to his native South. "Hey Porter" was the first of many rail-themed songs that Cash would record during his career, and was soon followed by "Folsom Prison Blues", another rail-themed track.