Note to self: login_generator is a good thing to use when you want dirt-simple authentication for Rails. It was also thankfully very easy to transfer to my server, where I don't have root access or the ability to install gems. I only required me to upload a couple files to the lib and app directories.
Authentication in Rails is a scary and messy thing, if you believe the random comments on that wiki. But it didn't seem too hard to me. Assuming it actually works as advertised. And admittedly my requirements were somewhat minor. But it's definitely easier than writing my own authentication scheme.