Southern Women, Southern Voices: Civil War Songs by Southern Women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Lee Cooke (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy Walker

Abstract: "This document considers the lives and works of thirty women living in the Confederate States during the American Civil War. The works they produced are songs published as sheet music in the South during and shortly after that conflict. Some wrote lyrics, some music, some both, and one arranged the lyrics and music of her husband for the piano. These works reflect the women's feelings regarding the conflict, their perceptions of women's roles in relation to it, their definitions of the South as their country, and their identities as Southerners. The material is organized in six chapters and arranged topically and in more or less chronological order. After the introductory Foreword of Chapter One, Chapter Two deals with the initial burst of patriotism expressed in the songs produced early in the war. These songs define the South as a country and invoke the blessings of Deity. The songs discussed in Chapter Three, also produced early in the war, extol the new flag and early victories. The songs in Chapter Four reflect the onset of war's harsh realities that plagued Southerners by the middle of the war: separation anxiety,loneliness, death, and deprivations. The songs of Chapter Five are calls for peace and post-war tributes to the dead. An Afterword concludes the document in Chapter Six. One concludes from the study of these women's lives and works that they harbored strong feelings about the war and that the writing and publishing of poetry and music was seen as an acceptable means of expressing those feelings. The literacy and/or musical training demonstrated in these songs reflect a level of education typical of middle and upper-class women of the period. Additional biographical study reveals the perseverance with which these women faced not only the war and its outcome, but also the professional limitations and the social restrictions with which they had to contend."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
Southern women, Civil War, Songs

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