Christine, the felts *do* belong in the grease tubes. If you remove them and allow grease to flow into the motor unimpeded, it is only a matter of time before your motor becomes flooded with grease and dies. The grease is only supposed to lubricate the part of the shaft spinning within the bearing. The wicks moderate the amount of grease that can make it down there.
I'd recommend you place them back in the motor, or you'll probably be looking for a new motor in a few months.