News & Notes

Give Me Louisiana: Selections from the Doralice Fontane Papers

Posted in Exhibitions, Special Collections Tagged with: ,

Visitors to the Special Collections Reading Room are invited to view a display of materials from the newly processed Doralice Fontane Papers. Louisiana native Doralice Fontane was a music teacher, composer, and businesswoman. Fontane was also a prolific composer best known for composing one of Louisiana’s state songs, “Give Me Louisiana,” and a peace march, “Let’s March Together (People of the World),” inspired by the Korean War. Born on December 27, 1905 in Moreauville, Louisiana, Fontane began playing piano at the age of five and began her studies of the organ with the parish priest, a “famed organist from Nancy, France,” at the age of nine. She became the organist of her parish church three years later and began writing her own compositions at age fifteen. Fontane graduated from Louisiana State University with the class of 1927 with a degree in music.


Doralice Fontane at her piano, c. 1950.

At the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-1953), Fontane felt compelled to compose “a contribution towards ‘World Peace,’ to help soften the trend in a troubled world.” She called the song “Let’s March Together (People of the World).” Fontane then mailed out 2,000 complimentary copies it to United States governors, mayors, senators, diplomats, United Nations delegates, and religious leaders. She received 1,800 responses. The Doralice Fontane Papers, now available for research at Hill Memorial Library, contain many of these responses, including personal letters of acknowledgement from Eleanor Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover.


Letter from Eleanor Roosevelt, 1949.

Not only did Fontane mail copies of her song internationally, but she also enlisted her nephew’s help in dropping copies of “Let’s March Together” over North Korea. Roland Roy, Fontane’s nephew and a pilot during the war, wrote her a letter stating that, “On April 15th, 1952 … an attack bomber piloted by Ensign Leo Profilet took off from the flight deck and flew on a routine mission over North Korea and carefully dropped all copies of your wonderful ‘Peace March’… over the large coastal village of SO-HO-RI on the east coast of North Korea.”

Roland Roy

Letter from Roland Roy, April 25, 1952


Map included with letter from Roland Roy, 1952.

In addition to her entreaties for peace, Fontane was also a business woman. While living in New Orleans, she converted her other home on North Boulevard in Baton Rouge into a “house of weddings.” She later moved back to Baton Rouge and became the so-called “chatelaine” of Fontane House, which she opened on Dec 27, 1958. She knew that “in this medium, she could still apply her talent and love for music and also give happiness to young couples by creating a beautiful atmosphere in which to hold their wedding and reception.” Fontane loved to host parties and entertain the social set of Baton Rouge. She was known for her style and exquisite home décor.

In 1970, Fontane composed and wrote “Give Me Louisiana.” She wrote the song with the intention of securing it as the official Louisiana state song, stating that “I feel it presents appropriate and dignified lyrics and melody for general use as the official state song of Louisiana.” She sent state legislators complimentary copies of the song with a letter requesting their consideration in designating the composition as the official state song.  Late that same year, her song received the coveted designation.

GiveMeLouisiana_sheet music

Sheet music for “Give Me Louisiana,” c. 1970.

In 1976, the popular country music song “You are My Sunshine,” by former Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis, was proposed to replace “Give Me Louisiana” as the state song. Fontane attended the legislative session, taking note of which congressmen voted for or against the proposal. In the end, the bill fell through by a vote of 41-35. However, the following year “You are My Sunshine” was officially adopted as the second state song, sharing the designation with Fontane’s “Give Me Louisiana.”

Fontane passed away on August 20, 1981. Her papers, housed at Hill Memorial Library, consist primarily of letters of acknowledgements from various individuals for the complimentary copies of “Let’s March Together” and include her writings, official and legal documents, music education pamphlets, printed materials, and materials relating to making “Give Me Louisiana” the state song. The collection also includes sheet music and arrangements for songs that Fontane composed, songs she co-authored, and also from various other composers. The lead printing plates for the sheet music of “Give Me Louisiana” are also available.

Jennifer Mitchell is the Head of Archival Processing in the Special Collections department of the LSU Libraries.

Posted in Exhibitions, Special Collections Tagged with: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


In the News

Exploding the Codex &
The Hidden Treasures and Historical Importance of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris
“Exhibitions showing at Hill Memorial Library, admission free to students” TigerTV

Who’s Your Holmes?
“On exhibit: Who’s Your Holmes? at LSU’s Hill Memorial Library” inRegister

Seeing and the “Eye of the Imagination”
“Take a peek into the unknown through Clarence John Laughlin’s ‘eye of the imagination’ at Hill Memorial Library” The Advocate

Seeing and the “Eye of the Imagination”
“Book collection marks historic importance of fantasy, horror genres” The Daily Reveille

Made in New Orleans
“Hill Memorial Library showcases ‘Made in New Orleans: The Past in Print’,” The Daily Reveille

Made in New Orleans
On exhibit: ‘Made in New Orleans’ at LSU Hill Memorial Library, March 19-June 8,” inRegister

Letterform Characters
“Hill Memorial Library exhibit explores history of typeface,”  The Daily Reveille

Through the Valley of Death
“Hill Memorial Library debuts WWI exhibit,” The Daily Reveille

Investigating Sherlock
“LSU’s Hill Memorial hosts Sherlock Holmes exhibit,” The Daily Reveille

Jazz Fest 101: A Showcase of Student Oral History Research
“Hill Memorial Library displays ‘Jazz Fest 101,’ explores festival’s past,” The Daily Reveille

A Voyage to the Floating World: Japanese Illustrated Books and East-West Cultural Exchange in the Nineteenth Century
“On Exhibit: A Voyage to the Floating World,” inRegister

Advancing Scholarship & Learning for 80 Years: LSU Press and The Southern Review
“Hill Memorial Library Displays History of LSU Press, Southern Review,” The Daily Reveille

A la Militaire” – The Battle of New Orleans
“Hill Memorial opens ‘A la Militaire,'” The Daily Reveille

Cooperative Extension at LSU
“AgCenter: Louisiana resource for 100 years,”
The Advertiser

I Remember: An Art Show of Environmental Significance
“Time for oil and gas industry to come to the table on coastal restoration,” BR Business Report

The Relentless Pursuit of “Equal”
“Integration Exhibit Opens,” LSU Daily Reveille

Centuries of Style
“Style Stories,” The Advocate

“Clothing as Social History,”

Of Kin & Cane
LSU Daily Reveille

Blacks in the Red Stick
LSU Daily Reveille

Louisiana for Bibliophiles
The Advocate

Change(less): Photography and the Ephemeral Made Permanent
DIG Magazine


Recent Faculty Publications


Comeaux, Dave;  Emily Frank; and Mike Waugh. “Supporting Student Success: E-books as Course Materials,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

Haber, Natalie, Melissa Cornwell, & Andrea Hebert. “This worksheet works: Making the DLS Standards work for you.” College & Research Libraries News

Lounsberry, Megan. “No Textbooks Allowed! (Unless You’re a Graduate Student!): Louisiana State University Pilots an ILL Textbook Service. Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.

Miles, John David. “Colfax, Kate Grant, and the Domestication of Reconstruction’s Violence,” Civil War Book Review. Volume 21, Issue 2 (Spring 2019).

Miles, John David. “The Loyalty of West Point’s Graduates Debated,” Civil War Book Review. Volume 21, Issue 1 (Winter 2019).

Miller, Marty. “Curriculum, Departmental, and Faculty Mapping in the Visual Arts Department,” Art Documentation, Volume 38, p 159-173 Issue 1 (March 2019).

O’Neill, Brittany; and  Allen LeBlanc. “Evaluating Trends in Instruction Scheduling Management: A Survey of Louisiana’s Academic Libraries,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

Russo, Michael, “The Moon Belongs to Everyone:  ResearchGate and Subscription Databases Compared.”  Louisiana Libraries. Winter 2019 (v. 81, no. 3).

Russo, Michael, “Information Literacy through Service Learning”  in Library Collaborations and Community Partnerships: Enhancing Health and Quality of Life.  Fannie M. Cox, Henry R. Cunningham, and Vickie Hines-Martin, eds., 2019.

Simms, Sarah; Hayley Johnson. “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 64 Parishes (Magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities). Issue 4, Summer 2019.

Simms, S., & Johnson, H. (2019). Subtle activism: Using the library exhibit as a social justice tool. Alexandria.

Ziegler, Scott; and Cara Key. “More Than a Pretty Interface: The Louisiana Digital Library as a Data Hub,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).


Hebert, Andrea. “Information Literacy Skills of First-Year Library and Information Science Graduate Students: An Exploratory Study,” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Volume 13, Issue 3 (September 2018).

Miller, Marty. “Sacred vs. Profane in The Great War: A Neutral’s Indictment: Louis Raemaekers’s Use of Religious Imagery in Adoration of the Magi and Our Lady of Antwerp.” Catholic Library World, vol. 89, no. 1, Sept. 2018, pp. 20–32.

Rasmussen, Hans. “The Life and Death of Raquette in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans,” Sport History Review 49 (May 2018): 23-38.

Wilder, Stanley. “Delayed Retirements and the Youth Movement among ARL Library Professionals,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Wilder, Stanley. “Hiring and Staffing Trends in ARL Libraries,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Wilder, Stanley. “Selected Demographic Trends in the ARL Professional Population,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Ziegler, Scott; and Richard Shrake. “PAL: Toward a Recommendation System for Manuscripts,” Information Technology and Libraries, Vol. 37, No. 3 (2018).


Caminita, C.; Cook, M.; and Paster, A. (2017). Thirty years of preserving, discovering, and accessing U.S. agricultural information: Past progress and current challenges. Library Trends, 65(3), 293-315.

Dauterive, Sarah; John Bourgeois; and Sarah Simms. “How little is too little? An examination of information literacy instruction duration for freshmen.” Journal of Information Literacy, 11.1 (2017): 204-219.

Fontenot, Mitch; Emily Frank; and Andrea Hebert. “Going Where the Users Are: Three Variations on a Theme,” Louisiana Libraries, Fall 2017.

Hawk, Amanda K. “Highflying Crowdfunding: Creating a Successful Partnership with a Campus Donor,” Archival Outlook, July/August 2017: 12-13, 19.

Hebert, Andrea; and Marty Miller. (2017). Using FSA-OWI photographs to teach information and visual literacy. Louisiana Libraries, 79(3), 19–25.

Johnson, Hayley. “#NoDAPL: Social Media, Empowerment, and Civic Participation at Standing Rock,” Library Trends, Fall 2017.


Special Collections Hours

Contact Special Collections

Public Services Desk: (225) 578-6544

Reference Desk: (225) 578-6568

Fax: (225) 578-9425


Submit a reference question

RSS Feed RSS - Special Collections Posts