I’ve been lurking in the library again, and found the section on American ethnomusicology/folk music. Found several amazing tomes, including:
American Murder Ballads, by Olive Woolley Burt (1st edition, no less!)
Wake Up Dead Man: Afro-American Worksongs from Texas Prisons, collected and edited by Bruce Jackson, published in 1972 - just to be obsessive, this is the Harvard Press 1st ed. hardcover (LP found here)
And my favorite:
Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, 1938 Edition, collected by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax (the link is for the Open Library version)
"He’s a killer and a hater!
He’s the great annihilator!
He’s a terror of the boundless prairie.”