Susan, I have an old rare book, which belonged to my grandmother, called "Howdy, Honey, Howdy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar. It was given to my grandmother in 1906 and was first copyrighted in 1896, published in 1905, and has photos of African Americans, many former slaves, I am sure, on every other page, with a poem/song on a certain theme to go with them. There are no tunes and I am not sure they were meant as songs, but I am wondering if they are the type of thing you might like to have copies of? It is too fragile to scan or copy, but I could post the words, at least, every once in awhile, for each one.
Howdy, Honey, Howdy
De Way T'ings come
Foolin' wid de seasons
A Death Song (see below);
A Christmas Folksong
A Love Letter
Puttin' the baby away
A Summer Night
The Old Cabin
Here's an example, most of them are longer:
Lay me down beneaf de willer in de grass.
Whah de branch'll go a-singin' as it pass.
An' w'en I's a-layin' low,
I kin hyeah it as it go
Singin' "Sleep, my honey, tek yo' res' at las'."
Lay me nigh to whah hit meks a little pool,
An' de watah stan's so quiet lak an' cool.
Whah de little birds in spring,
Ust to come an' drink an' sing,
An' de chillen waded on dey way to school.
Let me settle w'en my shouldahs draps de load
Nigh enough to hyeah de noises in de road;
Fu' I t'ink de las' long res'
Gwine to sooth my sperrit bes'
Ef I's layin' 'mong de t'ings I's allus knowed.