I followed the directions for changing the location of my iTunes Media folder to an external hard drive.
When I put the original files in the trash and opened up iTunes, it
1. reverted to looking for the Media folder in its original location and
2. created a new (empty) iTunes folder
I now have two copies of my iTunes library, one in the trash (that I can easily put back) and one on the external drive where I want it to be (I even consolidated my library into this folder... so I have no idea why iTunes decided to start locating my folder back in my Home Directory again)