The history of this tasty and straight-forward food is so simple, it's a no-brainer.
According to Wikipedia:
Hoecake is a type of thin cornbread made of cornmeal, salt, and water, which is baked on a griddle. It became known as "hoecake" because field hands often cooked it on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame. Hoes designed for cotton fields were large and flat with a hole for the long handle to slide through. The blade would be removed and placed over a fire much like a griddle.
Hoecake is notably the namesake of the cakewalk dance form. During the 19th century, slaveholders would hold dance competitions for their slaves, offering hoecake as a reward to the winner. Then known as the chalk line dance, the form became known as the cakewalk when it rose to prominence with the advent of ragtime music.
The hoecake is also known as the johnny-cake, the Shawnee cake, the ash cake, and the no cake.
Wendell has recently become interested in hoecakes and printed off a recipe. When I asked him where the recipe came from, I learned it was from the Homesick Texan blog. I understand this blogger lives in New York. Now that I've read some of her blog, I really recommend it to you, particularly From Hoecakes To Hope.