Groundcover for dry shade hill with weeds
I have about an acre. My house is on a hill. The area immediately around the house is developed, but the rest is mature woods - maples, basswood, oak, etc. And plenty of weeds. I took out some trees last year and where there is now more light (but still shade), I either have a) moist, leaf-covered soil under heavy shade, or b) in greater sun and with less tree coverage, a fairly bare (except for weeds and scrappy saplings) sharp hill down that appears to be quite dry.
I'm looking for suggestions for groundcover, particularly for the dry, semi-bare sections. And given this is woods, should I be prepping the soil in some way (other than trying to eradicate weeds??)? It's a pretty large space, so fast-growing would be nice. And I really don't love pachysandra, so I consider that a sort of last resort (though I'm sure an improvement over the current look).
Second, for the shaded, moister portion of the hill (the front of the house, about 100 feet from the road, so a fairly long vista up, in terms of the public's view), should I/could I take out some of the leaves blanketing the floor? Or is there groundcover that would work through that. The top of the hill - the end of the developed area - is a relatively small lawn, a bed w/stone wall at one end, and then ferns are going to be put in to transition to the woodland area - so I'm thinking about down past the ferns..