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The one job he enjoyed was on a Louisiana horse ranch, which later he celebrated by wearing a cowboy hat in his performances.He found an escape from manual labor when, following a conversion experience ("getting religion") in his early twenties, he was accepted as a paid pastor, first in the Baptist Church and then in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.He immediately changed his attitude about the blues, bought a guitar from a musician called Frank Hoskins, and within weeks was playing with Hoskins, Mc Coy and Wilson.Two songs he learned from Mc Coy would later be among his best known: "My Black Mama" and "Preachin' the Blues".

After years of hostility to secular music, as a preacher and for a few years also as a church pastor, he turned to blues performance at the age of 25.

After a couple of years, feeling used and disillusioned, House recalled, "I left her hanging on the gatepost, with her father tellin' me to come back so we could plow some more." Around the same time, probably 1922, House's mother died.

In later years, he was still angry about his marriage and said of Carrie, "She wasn't nothin' but one of them New Orleans whores".

At fifteen, probably while living in Algiers, he began preaching sermons.

At the age of nineteen, while living in the Delta, he married Carrie Martin, an older woman from New Orleans.

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