"Hell of" vs. "hella" pops up again, in Language Log.
The KQED article cited in the comments, btw, misquotes me slightly. I don't claim the "debate", such as it is/was, dates to 1983, only that that is when I first encountered it, when I moved to Berkeley to go to school. But that thing of people sternly correcting the improper usage when people said "hella" (just a quick correction "hell of" inserted into the conversation, or sometimes: "you mean, hell of") really used to happen, and very frequently. No idea when it "goes back to." It's really "hell of," anyhow, to the extent that anything can really be anything.
Either way, it doesn't make my song less funny I don't think.