You've probably heard the Bobby Bare tune "Marie Laveau" about the misadventures of Handsome Jack and Marie but did you know Marie was real?  She was born to a free slave in  New Orleans sometime about 1801 (a French territory at the time) and plied her voodoo until her death in 1881. She was not the ugly witch from Bobby Bare's song but a very beautiful woman who was a healer, voodoo practitioner and  herbalist.

Marie also operated a beauty parlor where she had clients who worked for wealthy families. Many people think that she gained power by using  information passed on to her by her clients to impress the wealthy with her abilities. She also worked on  wealthy ladies hair and secured information.  There have been several popular songs about the "witch of New Orleans" or "voodoo queen of New Orleans" that were based on Marie and her daughter who was known as Marie II. Marie is buried in a tomb in New Orleans.