Digitrad has great threads on Slavery songs, but what about the symbolic meanings of those lyrics for "Follow the Drinking Gourd." I remember some of them are more occult than just the big-dipper, north star bit in the title line.
The old man?
The dead trees show you the way?
Left foot, PEG FOOT ?
I'm singing this for inner-city grade school kids, along with Go Down Moses, and Many Thousands Gone.