The hyman book called Southern Harmony, and Music Companion was compiled by William Walker in 1835. It uses a form of musical notation called shaped note, which my father, born and raised in rural southern Mississippi, learned as a child. I think these songs are some of the best hymn tunes ever written, on a parallel with the great hymn tunes of Europe and the UK. Much simpler, for sure, but incredibly indelible. They demand to be sung. They roll around the mind for hours.
I’m working on a digital album of 15 to 20 of these songs. Here’s the first 6 I’ve done so far: