Welcome grahd this is the place to come for information all right. Lots of friendly people here to guide you on your way.
You mentioned heavy carbon from a gas smoker. If you are talking about sooty black buildup on the smoker and even on the the meat that can mean that your gas/air mix in your burner is incorrect. The propane flame should be steady blue with little or no yellow flecks in it. If you have steady orange or yellow flames then that is definitely where your carbon is coming from. To correct that condition is quite easy. You have to adjust the air intake sleeve on the burner making it either more open or more closed. Your owners manual should have a diagram and explanation of the adjustments needed.
If you are talking burnt on black on the surface of the meat thats just cooking at too high a temperature.
Burning too green a wood can also cause a bit of creosote buildup gives the meat bitter and can be dangerous to your health.
In the propane smoker forum there are lots of modifications that can be done to enhance the preformance of quite a few different models of propane smokers.
In any case there are plenty of smarter people than I on here who will be able to guide you through any problem or fix that you need to produce some awesome Q .
We love Qview ( pictures of your BBQ smokes ) so get that camera out and take lots of pictures.
Also take Jeff's 5 day free ecourse on smoking meat as a good base of knowlege and you will be well on your way.
Link to the 5 day free course. http://www.smoking-meat.com/smoking-basics-ecourse.html
You want your smoke to be thin blue smoke not billowing white smoke.