I had vaguely come across the word Antebellum without really knowing what it referred to until relatively recently, when a country combo called Lady Antebellum started hitting the airwaves.
The term actually originates with reference to an architecture prevalent in the Old South before the American Civil War, the term being Latin for "before the war". Natchez, on the Mississippi, seems to be most famous for the many instances of this style of building, although my lodgings there were much more prosaic.
Natchez lies at the end of a venerable old highway that originates in Nashville and is known as the Natchez Trace Parkway. The route used to be used by Indians and later by trappers, and is now a National Scenic Byway. Commercial vehicles are banned, bicycles are encouraged and I don't recall seeing a single business along its entire length, not even a gas station. Travelling the road elevates you to a sort of trance-like state, with failure to achieve true transcendence only limited by the need to keep an eye on the steep embankments that run along much of its slim girth.
On the Gulf Coast I spent a night in Biloxi. Why Biloxi? It was the name I guess, I knew nothing about it except there was Neil Simon play called "Biloxi Blues" and Tom Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby" contemptuosly says of Gatsby as an Oxford man that he "must have gone there about the time Biloxi went to New Haven." Gatsby is one of those books that informed my youth and still resonates for me almost fifty years since I first read it.
So what is Biloxi like? It has a beautiful shoreline and is steeped in the history of the Southern States. The President of the Confederacy retired here, and his home is a shrine to the romantic view of the Confederacy. But also it has associations with the civil rights movement, with people of all races dipping their toes in the ocean at the same time in a number of protests against segregation.