In the mid-nineteenth century, music played a central role in society. Patriotic
songs and martial airs, often harking back to the American Revolution, accompanied almost every
civic gathering. Work songs, which assuaged African American slaves doing backbreaking and tedious
labor, began to make their way into religious gatherings held in secret brush arbors and river
Music as parlor entertainment, usually played by the young ladies of the house, was a
customary after-dinner activity, while community dances relied on fiddle music originating in the
British Isles and passed down through folk tradition. For soldiers, marching to the beat of a fife
and drum kept up the pace and helped make heavy-laden troop maneuvers across the southern landscape
Kittredge, Walter. “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground.” Abraham Lincoln Sings On!
Performer, Jimerson, Douglas. Amerimusic, Inc., 1998. CD.
Tucker, Henry and Charles Carroll Sawyer. “Weeping Sad and Lonely.” The Civil
War Music Collector’s Edition. Performer, The Hutchinson Family Singers and Judy Sjerven. Time-Life
Music, 1991. CD.