Using File Explorer (Finder on the mac), go to the folder on your hard drive and confirm that the pictures are still there.
In Lightroom, go to the File menu, "open recent", and confirm that you have opened the correct catalog and not a new/empty one.
Yes the pictures are on my hard drive. I went into lightroom menu and open recent and there are still no pictures in lightroom. At this point I am wondering why I can't import them again from my hard drive or open the RAW files in photoshop
I "right clicked" over the little folder with the ? on it, a window opened saying " the selected folder is already in lightroom do you want to combine them? So that is telling me they are there but how do I find them
In the Folders panel, right-click "show parent" on the folders to make sure the tree view in LR matches the tree view in Explorer/Finder.
You might also want to do a right-click "show in explorer/finder" to make sure that LR and the OS agree on where that folder is.
The only time I normally see "do you want to combine them" when relocating folders is when I navigate to the parent folder instead of the actual sub-folder I am really looking for.