Here are some old versions of songs and rhymes that were sung by black people in the US over a century ago. Many are in a dialect that we call Historical Black American English to distinguish it from dialects spoken today. See the bottom of this page for more about the language.
You can find more African American songs on our USA/American Song Pages.
About Historical Black American English
In the United States you can sometimes hear the dialect known as Black English. Black English is also known as African-American English. According to Wikipedia it's "the set of English dialects primarily spoken by most black people in North America; most commonly, it refers to a dialect continuum ranging from African-American Vernacular English to a more standard English."
On Mama Lisa's World, we refer to the dialect that you'll sometimes find in older African-American literature as "Historical Black American English" to distinguish it from what's spoken today. We added "American" so that our international audience will know at a glance where it was spoken. Most of these songs and rhymes date back over a century.