Soak your beans. (This very important if you want tender beans). Bring beans to boil in 8-10 cups of water. Remove from heat covered. Let the beans soak for 1 hour.
Strain the beans, and discard water. Bring another 8 cups of water, and 32 ounces of chicken stock to a boil.
While beans are starting to boil, trim the ham hocks of fat; leave fat in large pieces. Cut the meat into small bite-size pieces. Put all into pot. (Remove fat and bones when your beans are done.).
Cut veggies into small pieces, then combine veggies, meat, fat, and spices into large stock pot or dutch oven and simmer for at least 2 1/2 hours, or until tender. Remove fat when finished. Taste, add more seasoning if needed.