Handy to have: a multimeter (combination voltmeter ohmmeter) and a long single conductor wire, 14 to 18 gauge best to reach from where you are working over to a place you are using for a test expected ground or a test expected neutral.
Always turn the power off before using the ohms (continuity) function of the meter.
Tornado victims: Do not rush to rebuild. Take your time and look for and get a good contractor. Or consider selling the property and moving to a home that is ready to live in.
With that older wiring I'm betting: The two wires tied together are a "HOT" wire feeding a wire to the switch, the other wire is the "return" from the switch to the light, fan, etc. As stated, this is rental property, not your problem. Talk to the landlord and see if you can work out something so he/she will furnish an electrician for this.
IF you get something like this (from HD; similar at other stores): http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-...atalogId=10053
You can touch the probe end to one wire and the other probe to the other: if light lights, you've got power. Should be able to see which one is neutral (white wire) by then touching one probe of meter to metal of ceiling box or ground wire and the other probe to each of the two wires you've got coming out of the ceiling (one at a time). If light lights on one of these tests, then the ceiling wire that lit the lamp should be the "hot" (black) wire.
Per Bob's suggestion, I tried a meter and single wire coming out was hot the other two twisted together were not. The fan is back up and working properly.