taken from......Easy recipes for Chuck Wagon Cooking.....Dried beans were a staple on the trail. Sometimes the 'cookie' varied the standard onion-and-chile-flavored beans with a little bit of sweetening.
Pick over beans, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and place in a large heavy kettle with a lid.
Add 8 cups fresh water, the salt pork and the tomatoes. Place the beans over a medium-high fire and bring to a steady simmer. Cook steadily 1 hour, then add brown sugar and additional hot water to maintain the water level about 2 inches above the beans. Cook another hour or two, adding hot water as neccessary. Add salt to taste.