In a large pot put you ham hock on med heat in a half pot of water while you prepare your collards. Cut all the thick stems out of the leaves and discard. Fill a clean sink full of water and wash them till the water is clean. I like to put salt in warm water for the first wash. This makes any insects let go. Takes approxmately 3 washes.
Add salt and baking soda to boiling water, then add collards, pressing them down as you go. They will more than fill your pot but they will cook down to half as much.
Cook for one hour,add the vinegar and sugar and continue to cook for approxmately one more hour till collards are tender and can be cut with a fork. Serve with a bottle of hot vinegar sauce.