Brian, thank you so much for the clarification on the Lizzie Roberts/Emma Hensley Shelton version of "Black is the Color." I think I really wanted that to be Lizzie Roberts singing her version of that song! And I am very glad to know that it was her! Those recordings are so valuable, but so frustrating. Please pass along my thanks to Mike Yates for helping to clear this up. It would be really helpful if somebody could start a new thread and publish a corrected track listing (as near as possible) for both volumes of the Karpeles collection.
And while I have not read back over this entire thread yet, I am wondering if anyone has been able to find a source for Lizzie Roberts' version? While its collection of verses probably evolved from a number of sources, the tune seems unique and the song as a whole seems to cohere in such a way as to suggest that it had been around for awhile. And it certainly is a different creature from the "Niles version" !