While the Civil War has long fit well thematically within the existing bluegrass idiom, the way that bluegrass has approached the war over time has changed greatly. Despite bluegrass largely originating from areas with little enthusiasm for the Confederacy during the Civil War, and the genre not emphasizing partisan aspects of the war for several decades, several cultural changes culminated in the late 1960s to turn the genre on a heavily pro-Confederate tilt, with numerous songs in the early- to-mid 1970s glorifying the Confederate States of America and its leaders, while also emphasizing Lost Cause arguments. To see how this unexpected bias arrived in the music, this paper first investigates the way that proto bluegrass genres honored the Civil War, and then traces the impact of the popular folk music movement before finally looking at popular political movements and their impact on the topic.
Claiborne, Carter W.
"Analyzing the Interpretation of the Civil War in Bluegrass Music,"
The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era: Vol. 11, Article 4.
Available at: https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/gcjcwe/vol11/iss1/4