A cooling board
is a board used to present a dead body. In winter months it would be impossible to bury the dead
due to the earth being frozen, so the body is wrapped and propped in a barn
until the ground thaws out. Referred to in a number of Blues
songs, for example by Blind Willie McTell
Benjamin B. French witnessed Abraham Lincoln's remains, after transfer from the Peterson House to the White House, being "taken from the box in which they were enclosed, all limp and warm, and laid upon the floor, and then stretched upon the cooling board."