Unbeknownst to most people, African-Americans had a huge influence on Appalachian music, including bluegrass and modern day country music. In fact, the banjo, what is considered one of the most traditional Appalachian instruments, was derived by slaves in the southern Appalachians...... they fashioned it from traditional instruments that they remembered from their homeland. The earliest banjos, they made out of gourds.
"Until 1800, the banjo remained essentially a black instrument, although at times there was considerable interaction between whites and blacks in enjoying music and dance—whites usually participating as observers. What brought the instrument to the attention of the nation, however, was a grotesque representation of black culture by white performers in minstrel shows...." ( excerpt from 'A Short History of the Banjo' by Mick Moloney)
Also, traditional flat-foot dancing has African-American roots. Regarding the different settlers in Appalachia:
"The social dancing of the wealthier groups was influenced by the French courts and Playford's English country dances, reflecting the formal and methodical philosophy of the Age of Reason. In contrast, the backwoods people danced lively and boisterous reels, jigs and square dances, brought from their native countries. Into this cultural melting pot were added dance steps copied from the native Indians and the African slaves. The resulting free style step dancing was known as flatfooting, buck dancing or hoofing."
This rich African-American tie to Appalachia has been lost in many ways, but there is somewhat of a revival in it amongst some young, black southerners... including one of my favorite new traditional groups, The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Go here to listen to their music.... I bet you won't be able to keep your feet still. :)