For some reason, I was under the impression it was a stillborn child that the narrator and Billy Joe had conceived, that wasn't carried to term. Or something like that, something that would have terrible consequences if it came out. It seems like she never
talked about it, even after her father died.
I also wondered about a song that came out at the same time called 'The Carroll County Accident', which was also about hijinks in a remote Southern county of the same name.
There may be a third song that mentions Carroll County but I can't remember it.