Slave Songs of the US Good Hope

Slave Songs of the US Good Hope

On Sunday afternoons, enslaved people sometimes gathered for dances as a reprieve from the drudgery of work. Many of the dances were African in origin. The song above was sung at Good Hope Plantation in St. Charles Parish prior to the Civil War. Sung to a simple dance called the Coonjai, the music was furnished by a group of singers accompanied by performers on the barrel-head-drum, the jaw-bone and key, or another simple instrument. This and other songs from Good Hope Plantation are included in Slave Songs of the United States which was published in 1867.