Acutally, you can do it either way. However, I suspect most of us use the combination of charcoal and wood chunks. To use the larger cuts of wood, you really need a primary fire and then the smoking fire. By that, I mean to establish a small fire on the side (SoFlaQuer has a great explanation of this along with pix. .... do the search button for "Burn Barrel." There's a sticky on it.) This is true wood smoking and is the way (a very long time ago) we all used to do BBQ. But now, it's less work and simpler to just get your charcoal going and put a few (ususlly soaked in water) chunks of your chosen wood on top for the smoke flavor.
Also, welcome to the forum! Keep us posted often and send pictures when you can.