On your question..."What was the deal about waiting for Lincoln to win before turning all hell loose."
All "hell" was not turned lose all at once. You have to look to all the causes and the time line.
1. South Carolina seceded over Lincoln's election and Republican rule over Congress.
2. Six more states over the next few months seceded over unfair and bumbling treatment by President Buchanan and the Federal Government against South Carolina's rights.
3. Over a month after Lincoln took office he made war against Florida and South Carolina and called for the invasion of the seceding states. This pushed five more states to secede and several others seriously think about seceding.
It took six months from Lincoln's election to the Lincoln's call to invade the South.
The question is what would have happend if Buchanan would have let South Carolina throw it's temper tantrum. At that point, right after Lincoln's election, the South was overwhelmingly pro-Union. I would say more so than in abolitionist New England.