When I was little we would make them for my grandpa. His birthday is 2/7. It's basically a devil's food cake with the food coloring, but I'm sure someone here will chime in with the real meaning & history & whatnot. It's delicious.
Devil's Food cake is wonderful. I would eat that in a second, but I would hesitate before selecting that red slice. I think chocolate cake is way more appealing in its natural chocolatey brown state than artificially red. I didn't grow up with Red Velvet cake, as a matter of fact, I never heard of Red Velvet cake before 5 years ago, so I'm sure it's just a perception thing, but the red color is a turn off to me (as is the idea of a whole bottle of red chemical food dye). If someone presented me some fresh sliced Katz's pastrami that was dyed bright yellow, I think I would have the same reaction.