I also enjoy knowing the stories behind the hymns, so I have enjoy Robert J. Morgan's Then Sings My Soul series. Featuring over 80 hymns, Book 3 includes the sheet music for each song, plus a short article telling something about the composer and how each hymn came to be written.
It also includes a section on The History of Hymnody. Here are a couple of quotes from the book that I especially appreciated:
"If we lose the hymns, we'll lose a priceless legacy; and we'll be the first generation of Christians to ever do so. Every other generation of believers has added its songs to the hymnal without discarding the contributions of earlier eras."
"A good hymn combines prayer with praise, keen theology with vivid imagery, and the majesty of God with our daily needs."I love having this book (and the others in the series) on the shelf with my Bible and devotional books. It's a great resource for family worship.