Oi you two, my Missus was born in 1951, whatderyer mean by hanging around wiv 'er eh?
Shambles, I think that that is the most important point anyone can make about any of the perpretrators of horror, ancient or modern. They are the bloke next door, who love their kids and help old ladies across the road. If we hold them up as monsters ie not human, we are commiting the same mistake in condemning them as they make in justifying their deeds.
Cathy, back to your research, Roy Palmer has written extensively on the social impact of folk song eg
The Sound of History : Songs and Social Comment Ballad History of England Britain's Living Folklore
I presume you have also included the EFDSS library in your search?