Perfect song to start the story-telling from the viewpoint of a woman, a lover. Also refers to the old ways when there were camp followers in the early American wars, where family and others camped outside of the battlefields to follow the battles, care for their loved ones, to bring them food, even to provide them with weapons. So this lover sells her reel and clock etc to pay for a sword. She is dressed in red to signify that she is married. This song pre-dates the American Revolution.