Introduction

William Francis Allen, 1830-1889, edited by, Charles Pickard Ware, 1840-1921, edited by, and Lucy McKim Garrison, 1842-1877, edited by
Slave Songs of the United States.

This site documents and analyzes a number of southern African American church hymns across different years, locations, and denominations of Christianity in an attempt to understand the deep meanings of hymns and how they tell the story of African Americans in the South.

While conducting my research, I have found that there has been little study concerning black hymnody. By studying hymns, we can uncover a deeper understanding of the experience of former slaves in the American South. African Americans use hymns for more than just expressing their religion. As Jon Michael Spencer states, studying black church hymns can reveal doctrinal, theological, and social development. Studying African American history in the South during the period called the American Nadir (roughly 1870s-1930s) from a hymnological lens creates a new form of context with which historians can gain an even better understanding of the condition of life for African Americans.