Addendum: I got to wondering about the origin of the term "hoe down." Here is what I found in the Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed.:
hoe-downThis is not very illuminating, is it? I suspect the term comes from the practice of laying one's hoe down (i.e., taking a break from work) in order to frolic in the field.
A noisy, riotous dance; = breakdown 2.
[1807 W. Irving Salmagundi 7 Mar. 98 As to dancing, no Long-Island negro could shuffle you ‘double trouble’, or ‘hoe corn and dig potatoes’ more scientifically.] 1841 Picayune (New Orleans) 14 Jan. 2/1 He looks and walks the character to the life, and some of his touches are of the genuine ‘hoe down’, ‘corn-field’ order. 1849 T. T. Johnson Sights Gold Region iv. 38 One of our party commenced a regular hoe-down, knocking his shins with heavy boots. 1855 Knickerbocker XLVI. 227 Rude, high-legged reels and ‘hoe-downs’. 1860 in Bartlett Dict. Amer. (ed. 3). 1885 Libr. Mag. (N.Y.) July 1 They [negroes] danced their vigorous hoe~downs, jigs. 1919 T. K. Holmes Man fr. Tall Timber vii. 84 A medley of old-time hoe-downs and jig music. 1961 Times 30 Mar. 6/7 The hoe-down sequence in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 1963 Punch 3 July 23/3, I was invited to the last hoe-down. 1967 ‘J. Munro’ Money that Money can't Buy ix. 114 Two more cowboys appeared... They played hoe-down music. 1969 Guardian 2 Sept. 8/2 The atmosphere was that of..a hoedown in—well, perhaps in Hibbing, Minn.