Yes, pattyClink, Dana's Two Years Before the Mast" is the source of the best account of a Kanaka chanteyman, on a Euro-American ship. Known as Mahanna, he is described as singing with a "wild sort of note" that often breaks into a falsetto.
Also it should be mentioned that the laborers at Sutter's Fort on the Sacramento River, which was ground zero for the Gold Rush, were kanakas. Sutter himself even had a Kanaka wife.
Yes, it's a little known aspect of American history that the West Coast was largely settled and "tamed" by Hawaiians.