Although there seem to be two schools of thought about tow vs. tote, and I don't have the original score in front of me, it seems more logical that a barge (a large, unpowered floating vehicle) be "towed," that is, pulled along by a bunch of slaves hauling on a rope, than "toted"—picked up and carried. Whenever I've had the pleasure of performing this piece, the conductor has insisted that I "tow," rather than "tote" that barge.
The word is "tote", and it is an old-fashioned, very Southern word that means "to carry." We still use it where I come from. The bags that are called "tote bags" got that name because you tote (carry) things in them.