Rinse and clean the beans the night before. Put them in a large pot and cover them with water. After a couple of hours they will have absorbed most of the water. Pour off the water and fill the pot again so the water is about two inches over the beans. Cover and soak over night.
The next morning pour the water off and rinse the beans again. Fill the pot again so the water is about two inches over the beans. Add 1 tsp of baking soda to the pot and bring to a boil. Boil the beans for about 20 minutes. Drain beans.
Put the beans into a large pot or a slow cooker and add enough water to cover the beans one inch. Add the rest of the ingredients. If cooking in a pot on the stove bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer beans for about 4 ½ hours or until the beans are tender. Add a small amount of water as needed. Stir occasionally.
If using a slower cooker, add the beans, add water to cover the beans one inch. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir everything together. Turn the slow cooker on and cook 8 to 10 hours or until the beans are tender.