Even though we live in the southern part of the country, people from New Orleans aren't "southern". We don't speak with a southern drawl, our culture is Catholic rather than Baptist, and we don't automatically address our elders as ma'am and sir. Even though I spent much of my childhood in Mississippi, my parents were from the midwest so I didn't grow up saying ma'am and sir either.
A few years ago our esteemed legislature decided that one problem with the schools was that pupils lacked respect for the teachers. Once you get north of I-10 in Louisiana, people are "southern" so the solution to this problem was to require that all public school students over a certain age address the teachers as ma'am and sir. My sitter is a believer in teaching them young, so since that point, she has made it a point to make sure all "her" kids know the proper form of address. The trouble is the only adult the kids have to address during the day is her, so they learn to say "yes ma'am". My youngest sounds so cute when she tells my husband "yes ma'am".