Ring, Ring De Banjo (Foster, 1851)

Frederick Douglass (1845) ~ “Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears…”

Angelina Baker (Foster, 1850)

Stephen C. Foster ~ Letter to E. P. Christy (May 25, 1852) ~ “As I once intimated to you, I had the intention of omitting my name* on my Ethiopian songs, owing to the prejudice against them by some, which might injure my reputation as a writer of another style of music…”

Kingdom Coming (Work, 1862)

Popular in both the North and the South, perhaps because of his ambiguous treatment of the plight of “contraband” (liberated slaves) …

Music in General Stuart’s Camp

Here’s a striking passage about music and war in General Stuart’s Confederate camp, 1862, from John Esten Cooke’s Wearing of the Grey… III. Behold the scene now, reader, as I looked at it, on that evening of December in 1861. We are in a bleak room, with no furniture but a desk, a chair, and a camp…