"Lorena" was an antebellum song with Northern origins. Pastor Henry De Lafayette Webster of Zanesville, Ohio, was jilted by his sweetheart, Ella Blockson, after her family pressured her to break their engagement. The heartbroken clergyman wrote a long poem about Ella but changed her name to "Lorena," an adaptation of "Lenore" from Edgar Allan Poe's macabre poem, "The Raven." Webster's friend, Joseph Philbrick Webster (no relation), wrote the music, and the song was first published in Chicago in 1857. It became a favorite of Confederate soldiers; after the war many Southern women were named "Lorena."
This song, a favorite among women whose husbands and sweethearts were away in the army, became one of the South's most popular tunes. Miss Sallie Partington sang this version in the production of "Virginia Cavalier" at the Richmond New Theater.
Many men expressed their sentiments about women through music. This song, "Rock me to sleep mother: A brilliant study for the Piano" by Charles Nordendorf, probably a teacher at the Danville Female College, was dedicated to a Miss Fannie Sutherlin of the same college.
This ballad, "respectfully dedicated to the patriotic women of the South," suggests the prayers of Confederate women could bring victory to the cause of Southern Independence: "Maiden, pray that yon trumpet blast/And rocket's signal light/But summon squadrons thick and fast!/To win in our victorious fight/For Home, for Freedom and the Right/Pray, maiden, pray!"
Lieutenant Colonel Louis M. Montgomery, C.S.A., wrote the words to "Angel of Dreams" during the war. In this song, he dreams about his love who is far away, a condition common to soldiers at camp and in battle.
This collection, published after the war, contains poems written by Southern men and women during the war years. The women's poems range from prayers for a 15 year-old-son going off to war ("A Prayer" by a Southern Mother, Memphis, July 26, 1864) to the displayed poem, "The Brave at Home," about the role of Southern women to the Confederate Cause.
Julia L. Keyes (1829-1877) was an Alabama woman who, as the editor describes, "was active in giving comfort to the Southern soldiers in the Civil War." This collection of her poems, published posthumously, contains poetry on many aspects of the war. The poem exhibited, "Only One Killed," is a sentimental and dramatic account of the strain of balancing patriotism and sacrifice.