i want to preface my remarks by saying that slavery is a terrible, de-humanizing institution and is always morally wrong. But, saying that, the lives of those on the rice plantations were quite different from slaves on the cotton plantations of inland Georgia and Alabama.
There are some 13 rivers from Charleston, South Carolina to northern Florida, and tidal rivers proved to be ideal for raising rice. They used dikes and locks and the tides to control the flow of water for the stages of growing rice. The found a use for our low, marshy coastal land! And so, the rice plantations were on each of the tidal rivers.
The rich white plantation owners were not accustomed to the extremely hot, humid, buggy weather that is a coastal Georgia summer. They believed that white people could not survive summer in the south, with malaria and many different kinds of fevers and diseases, and that black slaves were more suited to the weather. So, the white plantation owners would move north around April and not return until cooler weather in October and November. During that time the slaves were on the plantation on their own, usually with a black overseer. They had a degree of freedom unknown to other slaves in other places.
The other different factor was the plantation owners set up a piece system for working the rice fields. Each slave had certain tasks to complete each day, and then their time was their own. They could grown their own crops, practice their trade, or even hire themselves out to make money.
So it was that the slaves in and around Savannah were able to build the African Baptist Church for themselves, which was complete around 1850. It also was built to allow runaway slaves to hide under the floorboards, which proves that an easier life in slavery is still slavery, and most people desire freedom.