Rinse dry beans. In a covered 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven, bring beans and 6 cups water to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or, place beans in water in pan. Cover and let soak in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.)
Drain off water. Add 6 cups fresh water and ham bone or pork hocks. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Remove ham bone or pork hocks. When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bones and coarsely chop meat. Discard bones. Return meat to pan. Add onion, herb (if you like), seasoned salt, celery salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Return to boiling; reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes more or until the beans are tender. Makes 6 servings.