Joe Hill (Thommy Berggren) immigrates to America from Sweden in the early years of the 20th century. Although he secures a few jobs in his new homeland, the degrading working conditions astonish him. He becomes involved in the radical organization Industrial Workers of the World and goes on to write folk ballads championing the rights of the average worker. But in 1914 circumstantial evidence links him to a murder. Joe claims he is innocent, but the authorities think otherwise.