Jonah: Merriam-Webster has nothing to say, but the OED gives “lede” as
meaning “nation, people, persons, subjects [of a king],” cognate with German
leute and Old Slavonic ljudu, but obsolete in all meanings. It also
lists it as an obsolete form of the verb (and derived substantive) “lead.”
I’d be inclined to rule against your usage on the grounds that it opens a
door into the weird world of typesetters’ jargon, where nothing is
pronounced the way you expect. (E.g. the spacing between lines is
“leading,” pronounced “ledding,” and the typeface called “bourgeois” is
pronounced “boor-joyce.”) Life’s too short, and anyway it’s all of
historical interest only now, since computerized typesetting took over.
A slice of quiche gaspesienne could change my mind, though….