Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Wash and clean the beans, then place them in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight, adding more water if necessary. Drain the beans and wash again. Put beans in a saucepan, cover with fresh water, and bring to a boil. Boil until the beans are soft, then drain, reserving the broth. Layer the beans, onions, sugar, diced bacon square and all other ingredients in a bean pot or ovenproof dish, adding bean broth to bring beans to desired consistency. Bake uncovered for 5 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. If beans seem to be getting too brown, put on cover while baking.
Recipe courtesy of Lolis Eric Elie, "Smokestack Lightning"