It will depend on the GUI technology used. The best thing to do is use the object browser, find the object, then look at the properties tab and see if you can spot the text somewhere. If not, then look at the children objects to see if they might contain it.
In what programming language/IDE is your application developed? What control are you using - tell me its vendor, version and the value of the WndClass property (for a VCL control) or the value of the ClrFullClassName property (for a .NET control)?
BTW, you can try using the Text Recognition feature to work with the control and get the needed text (see the "Text Recognition Technology Support" help topic).
We tried to reproduce this behavior with a sample MS Visual FoxPro 9 solution (<Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9>\Samples\Solution\solution.exe), but everything worked fine. Can you reproduce the situation with this sample? If you face the problematic behavior only with your AUT, please send us a sample application demonstrating the issue. We'll look into the problem here.
As a workaround, you can try using the OCR feature (see the "Optical Character Recognition" and "OCRObject Object" help topics). The following script demonstrates how to get text contents of the target object: