Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let them soak overnight.
Dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery. In a large pot, melt the butter and cook the onions, bell pepper, and celery on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Drain the water from the soaking beans and add the beans to the pot. Add the sausage (either sliced or whole), garlic, and enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch.
Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender. If necessary, add more water to the beans while they are simmering.
Season to taste and serve over cooked rice.