Is the tobacco moist or wet at all? If it is, that's a good sign and maybe we can help you get a nice smoke session going. Honestly, I'm pretty sure I lack experience and knowledge of hookah smoking as compared to Sambooka here and the other Elite Members. If you wanna see how to properly set up a hookah, I would suggest watching Sambooka's Set Up Tutorial on YouTube. I've posted the link here.
I'm sure you'll have small differences, such as the type of coal/tobacco used, but this is a great way to learn. And if you follow the same steps in tutorial, I'm sure you'll get a great session going in no time. Hope this helps BigGuy. Let me know if you have anymore questions, and I'll do my best to help.