To the Southern way of thinking ties of Race are stronger than ties of Class! “Herron Volk” Democracy – a German concept – division among this group but most important division was one of COLOR.
To their way of thinking the poorest white male was still better than the best person of anther color.
Poor white males may still aspire to own slaves later on in life – therefore there needs to be the “potential” ability to own them later on so that they might work to create an estate and leave them for their children.
Many northerners assumed that secession had been orchestrated by the “fire eaters” who said that “Lincoln will free the slaves who will then be equal to you. They will marry your daughters, your wives and your status will disappear.
This of course was not true BUT – many non slave owners didn’t want families raised with Blacks around.