"One I have never been able to track down and figure out is 'red up,' my mother would say 'I have to red up the house before so and so gets here,' meaning she was going to pick up, straighten up, clean, the house. I haven't a clue where that came from or how it came about."
I'm going to guess, naw I'm going to bet that "red-up" is short for "ready up". Tho I don't recall anyone from my area of North Carolina saying 'red-up', we did and do use 'git ready', 'make ready', 'ready-up' etc.,etc. for a number of preparatory actions. Such as...git 'supper' ready and then afterwards.....well of course, you ready-up the dishes.
Interesting what Bent wrote: "I think perhaps the term, to red up, is Germanic in origin. In Danish, for example, to rede op, means to put something in order."..... Perhaps our family usage of the term comes from the Germanic, as my Mothers side of the family came over from Germany in the 1700's, the only Danish in our family tho is pastry :)