...as to how to properly spell the word y'all.
I've been inundated with misspellings of y'all a lot recently. And as a Texan, I know how to use the word properly in a sentence, and know how to spell it. And yes, it is a southern word.
Y'all is a contraction, people. It is as contraction of the words "you" and "all." It is not spelled ya'll. That would be a contraction of something unknown and it is not in the dictionary. It is not recognized by any SpellCheck program.
It is also not spelled yawl. This is a different word entirely and means "a type of sailing ship or small ship's boat."
Y'all is in the dictionary and in SpellCheck. It means "a group of people." It can be used singularly, but is usually used to mean a group.
Now, fer cryin' out loud, y'all learn to spell the durn word correctly; y'all give me a brain pain when you don't.