Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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Because most of the material for this book required the investigation of original sources, it has required more than a decade to bring the work to completion. So much of what has been written on the subject of the "Folk Song of the American Negro" has been positively inaccurate and unreliable, that I deemed it proper to learn the story from the songs themselves and from the makers of the songs.
This has sometimes meant hunting in out-of-the-way places, attendance upon church services here, there, and yonder, in season and out of season. It has meant in some cases, years of search for some special information, sometimes following the trail from state to state. Sincere efforts have been made to verify the statements and propositions herein, and though some of these statements seem almost incredible, I beg the reader to understand that very much of the history and description has come to me first hand from those who have been a part of them. No supporting authorities have been ad´┐Żduced save those that are considered wholly reliable.
The work was undertaken for the love of our fathers' songs. It has brought me much real pleasure and now it is sent forth in love. My cordial gratitude is herewith expressed to Professor Adam K. Spence, who taught me the value of these songs; to Mrs. Ella Sheppard Moore, who taught me so much about them (these two of blessed memory) ; to Miss Mary E. Spence, for many valuable suggestions, and to scores of others who have been patient with me, answered so many, many questions and have given me the information which has made this book possible; to Miss Jennie A. Kobinson, who has so largely directed my musical inclinations and inspired my musical efforts; and to Miss Dora A. Scribner, who so kindly criticized my manuscript.
John Wesley Work.
Nashville, Tenn., April, 1915.