A pentatonic melody, SWING LOW has the musical structure of "call and response" (solo and chorus) which is common in the rote practices associated with African American spirituals. Use a vocal soloist or a small group of voices for the marked unison segments and have the entire congregation sing the harmony parts. Although ideally this spiritual is sung unaccompanied, the continual changes from unison to harmony can also be emphasized with instruments. Some melodic and rhythmic liberties should be taken in singing the solo lines. Do not rush!
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988