Red Hat Cell Block, Louisiana State Prison at Angola

Red Hat Cell Block

The tiny Red Hat Cell Block building was the last stop of prisoners sentenced to be executed by electrocution. The building was named after the uniform worn by inmates who had been sentenced to death. Due to Angola’s unique agricultural setting, prisoners could only escape by going through swamp land or swimming the Mississippi. Thus, death row prisoners were allowed outside their cell block, and they were distinguished from other inmates by their red caps. Shortly before the scheduled execution, the inmate was moved into a cell in the Red Hat building. They would be electrocuted in an inmate-constructed chair known as Gruesome Gertie. Red Hat Cell Block was closed when a maximum security building was constructed. Red Hat is now a stop on the tours offered by Angola State Prison.