"Well my favorite, favorite song from a very personal level is 'Coat of Many Colors.' It's kind of a signature song of mine and it's more than just about the little coat. It's about my mom, it's about family, it's about acceptance, it's about tolerance and even speaks to bullying. You know, kind of how the kids made fun of me at school," Parton said on Tuesday.
"They even teach out of it in some of the grammar schools around Tennessee. They use that little song about not making fun of people, it's okay to be different. We are who we are and we need to accept and love each other," she continued.
Parton also mentioned "I Will Always Love You," but said that some of her favorite songs are tracks that not many people have heard, including "Down from Dover" about a pregnant woman who had to leave home.
"I really love some of my songs like that, that tell stories. And of course "Jolene" is everybody's favorite and I enjoy singing that one, but most of my songs that I love the best are songs that nobody's ever heard," the country star said.
Parton will release a new book on Nov. 17, titled Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. The 74-year-old discusses why she wrote certain songs, what kind of frame of mind she was in at the time and photos from throughout her life in the book.
"I really think of myself as a 'songteller' because I write songs, but I tell stories in my songs. So that just popped into my mind -- Songteller. I thought well, that's a good name for my coffee table book," Parton said.
The singer additionally brought Colbert to tears with an impromptu performance of "Bury Me Beneath The Willow," which Parton said her mother would sing to her as a child.
Parton released in October her first holiday album in 30 years, titled A Holly Dolly Christmas. Willie Nelson, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael Buble and Jimmy Fallon appear on the album, which features holiday classics and original duets.