Preparation / Directions:
Soak beans for at least 4 hours in water to cover, then drain.
In a large heavy sauce pan, combine the beans with the 6 cups water. Bring beans to boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook slowly, stirring up from the bottom occasionally, for 2 to 3 hours. Stir in the salt after the beans have softened. Add more water if the beans begin to seem dry. The beans are ready when they mash easily but still hold their shape.
Preheat oven to 325F. In a skillet fry bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain. Add onion and pepper to the rendered bacon drippings and sauté until soft.
Transfer bacon and onion mixture to a greased Dutch oven or other baking dish. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake, covered, for about 1 hour. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 - 30 minutes