Only 350k of 16 million Southerners owned slaves, and of those slave-owners, only a single digit percentage of them were of the Southern planter class and owned slaves in large quantities.
I am riding this horse, I'm also one of the head drivers. A driver is a trustworthy slave who's in charge of overseeing the others working in the field.
Most planters and overseers like me get the most out of their slaves by implementing a Gang System, which is a system where slaves are divided into groups and commanded to do whatever the driver deems fit for a singular workday.
Often, on a plantation like this one, there was an elaborate hierarchy of their slaves (since they owned enough to create a small community). Towards the bottom of the hierarchy were the field laborers, then the slaves trained in specialized trades like smiting.
Slaves towards the bottom of the hierarchy stayed in minimally-built shacks like this one. They were way below the standards of the planter and his family, yet the slaves persevered.
Farther up in the hierarchy, slaves who were trained well enough to do chores in the master's home became house slaves, like me. We often had better living quarters than the other slaves, which caused resentment among the slave community.
Female slaves especially worked hard. In addition to working in the field alongside the men, women were expected to perform all the traditional tasks of housewives: Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.
It was also common for female slaves to be sexually harassed by their slave owners. Some were raped and forced into sexual activity for fear that a loved one would suffer if they didn't.