Place the beans one handful at a time in a colander in the sink. Pick through them as you put the in the colander and pick out any little rocks or shriveled beans.
Run water over the beans to wash them off really well. Place the beans in a deep pan.
Cover with water about 2 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't boil over.
Carefully pour the water off of the beans and then cover with fresh water to about 2 inches above the beans.
Bring to a boil again and then turn down to a low simmer. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and bacon drippings at this point.
I like to let the beans cook for about 2 hours and add in the ham and cook them for at least another 2 hours.
Add water at this point if beans have soaked up to much water. This is not a quick dish but it is fairly carefree once you get it on. Just be sure to check your beans every hour and add more water if needed.
When the beans are done taste for seasoning and add accordingly.