The image below is from Oak Alley Plantation and it is of the bell that they used for mass communication:
The bell was used to call the workers at the start of the day, lunch time and to signal the end of the work day. It was also used to notify others in the community if there was a marriage, birth or emergency such as a fire.
Other plantations in the area also used bells. This one was place right off from the main door of the plantation. Someone had planted a lovely rosebush beneath this bell, but thorns were on no concern. If you look at the top of the image, you can just make out the cable that attached to the bell—this allowed the bell to be rung from the gallery (porch) of the plantation.
A simple means of communication, but a very effective one all the same!
The artwork was painted from photos in my NOLA sketchbook.