Place beans in a large Dutch oven with water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Mash beans; add bacon drippings, and cook over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; stir in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 30 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle cheese over beans; simmer, without stirring, 5 minutes or until cheese melts.