I loved the book Baby411, and then Toddler411. They are written by the same people (and a doctor as well) that wrote Baby Bargains. I still refer to my Toddler411 book for my son whenever he has a symptom that I am unsure of, and when I'm trying to figure out if I need to call his pediatrician.
And just an FYI: the tar-like poo is meconium, and only lasts the first couple of days, then once they start digesting their breast milk or formula, the poops change.
Don't feel bad at all, lots of people walk into motherhood with no prior baby experience, which is why there are books and websites, mother's groups, and many other resources.