Areytos is also titled Songs of the South because all the poems dealt with subject matter related to the southern United States. Many had been published previously in various periodicals. For the Areytos collection, Simms chose instead to focus on subject matter rather than form. The most distinguished poems in this collection include, "The Texian Hunter," "Maid of Congareee," "Indian Serenade," "The South - The Sunny South," "Well, Sang a Blue-Eyed Damsel," Dark-Eyed Maid of Edisto," "Farewell to Ashley," "Congaree Boat Horn by Moonlight," and, "To the Mountains," all of which display Simms's familiarity with settings in the Carolinas and across the South.
Edgar Allan Poe reviewed Areytos in the Democratic Review in July 1846, and he noted that the volume was "a collection of tender" and, "passionate songs," and applauded Simms as, "beyond doubt, one of our most original writers."
"Rich in the beautiful imagery of the South, these songs seem to breathe the soft spirit of the land... We have no space to point out particular favourites in this collection; many deserve to be set to music, if they have not already been done so."—Godey's Lady's Book