Soak the beans for at least 8 hours & up to 24 hours. After they have soaked, drain them & give them a good rinse.
In a large stockpot, saute the onions & peppers until tender. Add in the 6 cups of water, the ham bone, & the beans to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low.
Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, green chiles, & spices (including the bay leaves). Let the soup simmer for at least 4 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally. If there is any meat left on the ham bone after it’s done simmering – gently pull it off with a wooden spoon before removing the ham bone & the bay leaves.