"Slaves were treated not as human beings, but as laboring animals" (Douglas). They worked nearly all day everyday either outside in the elements of weather (good or bad), or inside fulfilling household duties. Slaves in the South formed a large minority of the overall population of the area. Most of them lived in small to medium sized housings which contained anywhere between five and 50 people. They were usually fed mostly pork and corn, which provided them with the sufficient calories needed to fuel their labor ("The Civil War"). This was a very unhealthy diet. However, in some cases, slaveholders would allow their slaves to extend their rations with produce that they had raised on separate garden plots specifically selected for them ("The Civil War"). Frederick Douglas, who was once a slave, said that "People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get" (Douglas).
As far as clothing, slaves were usually given thin, cheap, hand-me-down shirts and pants. Masters were constantly intervening in the lives of their slaves, doing anything from directing their labor, to approving or disapproving marriages. Some made detailed rules, and most engaged in constant interfering, directing, nagging, threatening, and punishing. Some of the enslaved women were even exploited sexually ("The Civil War").