Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

According to Douglass, what did Northerners assume was the reason the slaves were singing? How did Douglass explain the slaves' singing?

This is from the book but I don't know the answer...

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From the text:

I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass