I don't know where I got this recipe that I've been using for years but it is definitely a man pleaser! I think that a ham bone gives the best flavour but will use an 8 oz piece of salt pork when necessary.
Prepare beans: Rinse well and discard any stones or shriveled beans.
Soak beans in water in a 5 quart Dutch oven, using the overnight or quick soak method.
Overnight Method: Cover each cup of dried beans with 3 cups of water; let stand for a minimum of 12 hours.
Quick Soak Method: Add beans to boiling water, allowing 3 cups of water for each cup of beans, bring back to the boil and boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and leave for an hour, then cook in same water.
Bring mixture to a boil, add salt, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour.
Stir in molasses and next 3 ingredients.
Stud the onion with the cloves; tuck onion & ham bone (or salt pork) into the beans.
Cover and bake in a 250F oven for about 7 hours; check & stir about once an hour.
Add more water to keep beans moist but not too wet OR remove lid to thicken mixture through evaporation; it all depends on your preference for thick or runny!
Discard cloves, chop onion and return to mixture.
Remove meat from ham bone (or cut salt pork into pieces, discarding fat) and return to mixture.