If desired, omit ham and substitute beef, chicken, or vegetable stock for the cooking water.
Wash beans thoroughly.
Place in a large kettle, cover with water and soak overnight.
(An alternate method is to bring beans and water to a boil,remove from heat, and cover and let stand for 1 hour.) Next drain beans and add 2 quarts of new water and ham or ham hock (or use broth if omitting ham).
Simmer slowly for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Then add spice packet, onion, tomatoes (undrained), lemon juice and salt to taste (spice packet contains no salt).
Simmer another 30 minutes or until beans are tender.
Take ham from soup.
Remove any bits of ham from bone and return to soup.
If using boneless ham, cut into bite-size pieces and return to soup.