Thoroughly wash beans and place in large stock pot. Add water, sugar, ham or jowl, salt and pepper. Over high heat bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer on low for 4 to 6 hours or until beans are tender.
DO NOT LET THE BEANS COOK DRY. I may be necessary to add water throughout cooking. These beans can also be prepared in a slow cooker. Just add all ingredients with slow cooker on high in the morning and they are ready to eat at supper time.