These program notes originally accompanied a performance of three vocal pieces: Deep River, On Jordan's Stormy Banks, and Poor Wayfaring Stranger. The notes analyze the role of the Jordan river in each piece, focusing on their historical context, first performances, and issues of authorship. As part of a performing arts research project, the program notes also address the method of expression and creative process that went into preparing the performance of these pieces.

The songs included in this presentation all speak to the journey from earth to heaven. In each piece, the Jordan River is found to symbolize a different concept: deliverance, anticipation, and reunion, respectively.