First look through beans and remove any debris sometimes found in them. Then rinse well. Put in a pot and cover with water and soak overnight-Or you can do a quick soak by bringing them to a boil and immediately turning off and let sit for 2 hours.
Rinse side meat and slice into chunks.
Now there are two ways to go from here- You can cook them on stove top or in a crock pot- I prefer the crock pot because they have a better flavor.
Stove Top Method - Pour water off beans after soaking and add fresh water - enough to cover them completely. Add side meat, salt, and pepper.
Bring to boil and then lower heat to simmer for app 2-3 hours stirring occasionally -Until the beans are as soft as you want them.
Crock Pot Method- Pour water off beans after soaking and add beans to crock pot. Cover with fresh water and add salt, pepper and side meat. Cook on high about 1 hour then lower to low and cook about 6 hours - until beans are as soft as you want them.
Serve with cornbread and chopped onions-MMMM MMMM Good!