Babette was one of the earliest residents to come and live with the Blackburn Brothers. She was a zombie maid who had originally been in service to a wealthy merchant, but had come to America from France after his wife had kicked her out, having discovered her husband's unwanted advances towards the maid, despite Babette having ignored them. It was rather flattering until she was turned out with no references. But through her gifts, she had gotten a new situation and had begun to make a name for herself when she died from a freak accident in the streets of New Orleans.
She then migrated west at the behest of her savior, Mary Laveau after she had mercifully restored her to life (or death) after her unceremonious death. She had come west with Benjamin Blackburn on his first trip west.
Once brought back to life (or death), and for the longest time, Babette was just subsisting. She had little to live (or die) for, and simply accepted her role and lot in life. In fact, she was quite annoyed when other zombies attempted to influence her against her will to get her to engage more.
It was not until many years after living at the boarding house that she began having dreams of her past life which inspired her to consider what she might ultimately become.
After some educational escapades with friends from the local community in which they attempted to get her involved in their business shenanigans, she finally took the reins and worked and discovered her purpose; it was after she started a business and began to make a name for herself that she was able to fill that empty part of her undead soul.