Wash the black eye peas and allow them to soak in water overnight.
After soaking the peas, rinse them again thoroughly.
Ham hock - A honey ham bone is delicious. A Country, ham bone, is terrific also but if using this do not add the extra salt. You can use 4 or 5 strips of bacon instead of the ham. Cook the bacon and left the rendered fat in the pot before adding the water. You need ONE of these things in any dried peas or beans.
In a large Dutch oven, add 8 cups of water and your ham hock or bone and bring them to a boil.
Add the onion, garlic, sugar, and spices to the ham. Insert the peas.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours on the stovetop or until the peas are tender.
Cook the black-eyed peas on low in a slow cooker for 7 hours.