One of our members has asked how do I go about creating a period banjo part for a tune. This is a great question, and I don't have a pat answer.
First, I think spending a lot of time in the banjo instructors is essential. This gives you insight into the period style of playing. Be sure to search all of the instructors for some of the songs you are intersted in. One of the most useful indexes for this is in The Early Minstrel Banjo book by Weidlich. Also look in some of the books on the banjo clubhouse.
Next, go to the sheet music sites, and see if you can download the published piano score. This can give you a sense of the feel of the piece.
You can always ask the opinion of people here on this site about specific songs. It might be fun to take a few songs and see how different people would handle them. Any suggestions out there?