Green’s Dictionary of Slang

slough n.1

1. (Aus.) a prison; a state of imprisonment [slough v. (1)].

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Dec. 44/2: ‘Take it from me, [...] if yer wants ter keep out of slough, give the slops a wide. [...] Yer can’t give ’em too wide a wide,’ he says impressively, a word with each tap.
[US] ‘Carnival Sl.’ AS III:3 254/1: Slough—Closing the show, or an arrest.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 198/1: Slough, n. 1. A jail, workhouse, station house, penitentiary, or prison.

2. (US) a convict.

[US]Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette 6 Jan. 6/6: ‘Slough,’ a convict.

3. (US Und., also cold slough) a temporarily empty house, thus a target for a robbery; thus cold slough prowler/worker, a thief who robs empty houses; cold slough job/prowli(ng), such a robbery.

[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 53: The better class of burglar may also be a holdup man, who does not bother with a ‘cold slough’. [Ibid.] 59: Robbing deserted houses is called ‘cold-slough prowling’.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 7: In these ‘sloughs’ (vacated houses) we always find a lot of jewelry, silverware [and] gold plate.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 53: Cold Slough Prowler. – A thief who specializes in robbing empty houses.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 54–5: cold slough A house or apartment where the tenants are not home cold slough job A burglarly of a house or apartment where the tenants are not home cold slough prowler One who burglarizes a deserted house cold slough worker A burglar who burglarizes a house or apartment while the tenants are away.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 46/2: Cold slough. A home or apartment from which occupants are absent. [...] Cold-slough prowl or worker. A burglary of a cold slough.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 325: Slough, A temporarily vacated house.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 795: cold slough prowler – A thief who specializes in robbing empty houses.

In compounds

slough worker (n.) (also slough grafter)

(US Und.) one who robs a house or apartment in the absence of its owners; thus slough work, such a robbery.

[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 27: The remaining third of Chicago’s professional thieves are good, bad, and indifferent ‘sneaks,’ ‘porch-climbers,’ ‘slough-workers,’ ‘peter-men,’ ‘prop-getters,’ ‘shovers of the queer.’.
[US]F.H. Tillotson How I Became a Detective 95: Slough grafter – A daylight house burglar.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 417: Slough workers – burglars who ransack houses.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 173: Slough Work. – Robbing houses in the absence of the owner or occupant.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 198/2: Slough-worker. A house burgler [sic].

In phrases

hot slough (n.) [hot adj. (5e)]

(US tramp) somewhere that is robbed while the owners are in occupation; thus hot slough worker, a thief who robs houses while the tenants are at home.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 124: hot slough A house or apartment the tenants of which are at home hot slough worker A burglar who burglarizes a house while the tenants are at home.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 103/2: Hot slough. An occupied dwelling which is the object of burglary. Hot slough worker. One who burglarizes hot sloughs.