Sort and wash beans. Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water 2 inches above beans, and soak 8 hours. Drain.
Bring beans and next 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Stir in rice, bell pepper, and green onions. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove ham hocks, and let cool; remove and chop meat, discarding skin and bones. Stir in chopped meat from ham hocks and, if desired, 2 cups chopped ham.