"‘This is for you, David,’ she said, putting it into my hand. I looked at it. A curling lock of brown hair, tied with a piece of yellow ribbon"

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington House (Robert E. Lee Memorial), Robert E. Lee lock of hair
Creative Commons AttributionArlington National Cemetery, Arlington House (Robert E. Lee Memorial), Robert E. Lee lock of hair - Credit: Brad Holt
It was common practice in Victorian times and before to give locks of hair to a loved one as a token of remembrance or admiration.