History | Weird

There's Controversy Behind The Unofficial Confederate Anthem "Dixie" And Who May Have Written It

Country Rebel

You may not know the what the unofficial Confederate Army song from the Civil War was, but you have almost certainly heard it. The song named "Dixie" can actually be heard, in part, every time one of the Duke boys would hit the horn in the General Lee on the Dukes of Hazzard.

The song, written by Daniel Decatur Emmett in 1859, and first performed in New York City or so history would have you believe. There are rumors and conspiracies that say the song was actually written in part by some unexpected people.

Many people believe that Emmett had some help writing the song that would put him in the history books, and they believe the help he got was from a family band out of Ohio called The Snowden Family Band. They were one of the few black bands that actually made a living touring through white communities.

Banjo Hangout

Five of seven Snowden siblings made up the members of the band: Sophia, Ben, Phebe, Martha, Lew (or Lou), Elsie, and Annie. They were a family of free blacks that would travel around their home in Ohio putting on concerts for predominantly white audiences.

Sparrowmeto's Blog - WordPress.com

But how are they tied to writing the song that would later be adopted by the Confederate Army?

Stories out of Mount Vernon, Ohio actually credit the Snowdens with writing the song "Dixie." Locals claim that they were the ones who taught Dixie to Emmett, but there is a problem with the timeline, Ben and Lew Snowden were just little children the first time the song was performed in New York. It makes it much more likely that it was likely the parents of the Snowden children, Thomas and Ellen, who helped Emmett with the song, as their family farms were next to each other.

Emily E. Vaughn.com

There will never be any way to tell for sure, but if this story even contains a single grain of truth, then it appears that a free black family was accidentally responsible for writing a Confederate anthem.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.