Either your rad is clogged, the thermostat isn't opening, or the water pump impellers have rotted off. If the top hose is rock-solid and the lower hose is cool and soft, you're not moving water and it could be any of the three issues described in the previous sentence. An OEM pump uses a stainless impeller, so if you're using an OEM pump you likely have nothing to worry about with the actual pump.
The coolant flows top to bottom- the water pump draws from the lower hose, moves coolant through the block and out of the head into the thermostat housing. After the thermostat has regulated the temperature, it will open and allow the hot water back into the top of the rad where the cycle repeats.
Rule of thumb is that rads generally flow top to bottom being that hot water rises by nature.
Another possible issue- and I hate to say it...could be the head gasket allowing cylinder pressure to seep into the cooling system.