from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of the 15 states of the Union in which slavery was legal before the Civil War, including Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
- n. A nation under totalitarian rule.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The nearer are the lines of a slave state and the borders of a free one, the greater the peril.