Bring 8 cups water and pinto beans to a boil in a large pot. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse before using.
Transfer pinto beans to a slow cooker. Add ham bone, red onion, minced garlic, and ham base. Pour in remaining 6 cups of water, or enough to cover the beans.
Cool on Low until beans are tender, about 8 hours.
Remove the ham bone, shred meat, and add back to the beans. Discard the bone. Serve hot, seasoned with hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
I usually follow the quick-soak method instructions on the pinto bean package for expediency, but if you prefer to soak overnight, then follow that method.
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