I was born and raised in the southern US, beans and cornbread are a staple here in the south, I have been eating beans ever since I was born I think, been making them longer than I can remember. There are so many ways to flavor beans and cook them. My father uses the same technique, but he uses water and onions, a little salt and that is it. My cousin just pours them into a pot and boils them for about an hour to an hour and a half and there done, no soaking, no onion, no anything but a little salt. But we all eat them with cornbread, whether poured over top of the cornbread in a bowl or like me, buttered cornbread on the side crumbling a little on top of the beans as I am eating them.