Missouri folk duo Kathy Barton and Dave Para sing a two-song melody of songs from the Free Soil side of the Missouri-Kansas Border War [aka, “Bleeding Kansas”].
Fighting between pro-slavery and Free Soil settlers helped radicalize people in the trans-Mississippi region, and push the nation at large towards war. The radicalization of actors in the Border War may have been a cause for some of the extreme violence seen during the region’s guerrilla conflict during the subsequent Civil War.
The song describes the Free Soil faction in Kansas as harbingers of freedom and democracy. The images mostly depict the fighting in Kansas from the Free Soil point of view.
Pro-Slavery activists and most Missourians would take great issue with the characterizations presented in both the songs and imagery.
The track can be found on Para and Barton’s CD:
Johnny Whistletrigger: Civil War Songs from the Western Border (Vol 1)