This work investigates efficient backhaul compression strategies for the uplink of cloud radio access networks with a general multihop backhaul topology. In these systems, each radio unit (RU) communicates with the managing control unit (CU) through a set of intermediate RUs. A baseline multiplex-and-forward (MF) scheme is first studied in which each RU forwards the bit streams received from the connected RUs without any processing. It is observed that this strategy may cause significant performance degradation in the presence of a dense deployment of RUs. To obviate this problem, a scheme is proposed in which each RU decompresses the received bit streams and performs linear in-network processing of the decompressed signals. For both the MF and the decompress-process-and-recompress (DPR) backhaul schemes, the optimal design is addressed with the aim of maximizing the sum-rate under the backhaul capacity constraints. Based on the analysis, numerical results are provided to compare the performance of the MF and DPR schemes, highlighting the potential advantage of in-network processing.