From: "Peckerwood Nation" www.dailykos.com \storyonly/2006/6/28/181447/773
At some point, peckerwood evolved into a term used to describe white prison inmates. In prison slang, a peckerwood or "wood" was a white inmate who was willing to fight to avoid being raped or robbed. Over time, white inmates appropriated the term peckerwood and made it a source of pride.
Currently, the term peckerwood is used to refer both to white youths with loose ties to white power gangs in and out of prison, as well as to actual skinhead gangs who have incorporated "peckerwood" into their name. The various Peckerwood gangs appear to be concentrated largely in California, where they participate in the methamphetamine trade and have ties to other white supremacist gangs such as the Nazi Low Riders. Peckerwood gang members have been charged with a variety of crimes ranging from dealing drugs to attempted murder. Many gang members sport Peckerwood tattoos to display their affiliations.
It started out as a derogatory word used by the African Americans in the South to refer to white men, but the white men eventually picked it up and started using it for theirselves.
Women are called "Featherwoods" It is the same reference.
Term comes from wood pecker, because they normally have red hair, and whites are the only people who have red hair.