Jim Crow (Rice, 1830)

If we can hold our immediate revulsion at the (now offensive) language, we’ll find some shocking critique and surprisingly liberal views in the lyrics…

Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel (Emmett, 1853)

Here are a few versions of Dan Emmett’s song, displaying the far-reaching sense of international politics and breaking-news commentary to be found on the antebellum popular stage…

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) …