I have wondered where the term "Dixie" came from, and how it came to refer to the American South. I came across the answer today, doing some background study for an economics seminar with Classical Conversations.
A recent issue of Kids Discover magazine was dedicated to the history of money, from ancient times to today. In the early decades of American history, there was no real standard currency. During the 1830s a bank in New Orleans printed some $10 notes, on which they used the French word for ten, dix. People began calling these bank notes "dixes" or "dixies." Over time, the term Dixie referred to Louisiana, and eventually the whole south. [Kids Discover, Vol. 20, Issue 4, April 2010]
Now that's an interesting bit of Southern trivia.