The easier answer first.....
You should be able to uninstall Works (which is a separate application), without any risk to Wordpad and Notepad. These two are part of Windows and installed with the OS.
Not sure of an answer to the main problem. There must be something running automatically which is taking the lion's share of the RAM.
You can run msconfig and its startup tab to see what loads on booting.
You might find a clue in Control Panel > Admin Tools and Event Viewer, starting with the System Events.