Soak beans, if using dry ones, for 3-4 hours. Bring the water to a boil then add the beans. Cook at a moderate boil for 10 minutes then add the corn, ham hocks, salt & pepper, and onions. Reduce heat and cook for 1 hour on a low heat. Got this one from a friend from grad school. He is a cultural anthropologist who also happens to be a Cherokee Amerindian. His passion is cooking and this is a recipe that he assures me is genuinely ethnic to his people in North Carolina. The changes from the items *'d are his not mine. The measurements have been converted for us as well. He claims we would like to measure out a hand- ful of this and a small pinch of that. Enjoy!