Hey 9ball...............going through a lock is a piece of cake...............or pie..... whichever you like!
There is a traffic light at the entance of the lock that tells you it is OK to enter. Green for go and red for stop don't enter. Most boaters just call either cell phone or VHF channel 16 or 12 usually works. The lockmaster will tell you what is going on. Barges have priority and us recreational boaters are last on the pecking order.
When you do come into the lock, no wake and the lockhand will throw you a line that you hold on to. Do not tie this to a cleat especially if you are going from high water to low water. The walls are usually very slimmy so I have always worn gloves and put the fenders out to protect me and the boat. Now if the lock is not crowded some boats just putt around inside with out hanging onto a line. The lockmaster will tell you one way or the other.
Whether on if you go up or down when the lock opens up you are to procede no wake speed until you are far away enough not to cause any problems with anything.
9ball the fun is when you are in the lock right next to a gigantic tug, because that is all the room there is in the lock and the pump pressure is wanting to swing you into this tug and these lines that the admiral and you are hanging on for dear life and all this seems like an enternity and you swear your arms have grown three inches type of fun!