In Britain we had our own Civil War fought in the 17th century which resulted in this country becoming a Republic until the death of Cromwell and the Restoratiion which followed and saw Charles IInd on the throne
But America's Civil War was caused by the need to abolish slavery in the South and was to divide the Nation.
Tom Glazer was well qualified to sing Civil War ballads as he'd once recorded for the Library of Congress and this reissued album is of 25 songs written at the time or the pre Civil War ones which were adapted for use and which were aimed at the Parlour when publishers saw an opportunity to profit and would assemble a song by using in some cases a classical melody or hymn tune.Thus Maryland My Maryland is from Wagner's O Tannenbaum.100 years later Dylan was dong the same thing from 1962 and this is the easiest way to remember the date the Civil War began
By the time of recorded sound cylinders were made by marching bands like that of Sousa who probably was the first to record the most famous War song Dixie-an example of a composed song (Dan Emmett) and a song which became part of the American Trilogy in 1970.
Songs which were sung by the soldiers would be sung en masse either on the march or at the camp fires giving rise to Camp Fire Melodies once the first folios were published and have become the backbone of American music.
Though Glazer has a polite sounding voice songs like this seem to sound better by Johnny Cash or the New Christy Minstrels or Tennessee Ernie Ford who cut a pair of famous abums in the 50s of Civil War Ballads of both North and South.
In the 50s and 60s both Lonnie Donegan and Adam Faith had hit singles with Cumberland Gap and When Johnny Comes Marching Home respectively while in 1963 Glazer cashed in on the Urban Folk Revival by charting with a comedy version of On Top Of Old Smokie
The CD comes with a 34 page book for his which includes Glazer's original liner notes for the album