The Plantation Police, or Home Guard examining Negro passes on the levee road below New Orleans. (click on photo for larger view)
The caption underneath the picture states: "The Plantation Police or Patrol was an institution peculiar to the Slave States. It was a semi-military organization, raised and supported by the planters, but not recognized by the old State authorities. Their principal duty was to visit the various plantations and patrol their roads by night, arresting all Negroes and other slaves that did not have the proper passes. The war, the President's proclamation, and the actual possession of most of the State of Louisiana by the Federal authorities, rendered these patrols doubly rigorous. Some of the Negroes submitted reluctantly. The colored man in the foreground is a specimen of that class. He seems to yield to the superior force of a tottering power, satisfied that his day is at hand; others show the obsequious submissive stamp--the Negro is satisfied with his lot if he is clothed and fed. "
I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.