They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I'm one."
The Animals sang the most memorable version of this song with mournful pacing and plaintive singing of the sad lyrics which warn against a life of sin and ill-repute.
A recent archeological dig suggests that there may have been a real House of the Rising Sun in the French Quarter.
"...a hotel called the Rising Sun appeared to have operated on the site from the early 1800s until 1822, when it burned to the ground.
In an 1821 advertisement from the newspaper La Gazette, a company called L.S. Hotchkiss explained that it had taken over the hotel but offered reassurance to customers: 'No pain or expence [sic] will be spared by the new proprietors to give general satisfaction, and maintain the character of giving the best entertainment.'
The next sentence: 'Gentlemen may here rely upon finding attentive Servants.' Similar language, Gray said, was used in old bordello advertisements to make it clear — without explicitly saying so — that extracurricular services were available.
About 2½ feet below the surface, the researchers discovered a large number of liquor bottles. Alongside them was an unusually dense collection of rouge pots. The distinctive jars were painted sea green or blue and designed to hold makeup. They were heavier on the bottom than the top; that way a woman could sweep her fingertips across the rouge when she needed a touch-up without tipping the pot or stopping to pick it up.
The combination of liquor and evidence that there were lots of women who required much makeup was encouraging."