I enjoyed the special "The Words and Music of Cold Mountain" very much. It had some interesting background information emerge through interviews with Anthony Minghella, also it was great to hear the Sacred Harp singers live, especially Tim Eriksen... and the other musicians like Alison Krauss... and to see their facial expressions while performing.
Krauss delivers a beautiful performance of the song "Scarlet Tide." There were readings from the script, as well as the novel, and other inspirational readings too. Overall it felt like a cozy evening in a theater with a group of creative, talented actors and musicians and other collaborators.
I don't think the film "Cold Mountain" by itself is as good as the DVD set that includes this special. You get a better feeling for what the film was trying to say, and for the amount of talent and emotion that went into making it. That the film must be supplemented and complemented by this material is not necessarily bad... it just shows a continuation of the creative community partly rooted in the film.