Pour the beans, water, and stock into the crockpot.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sausage in the melted butter.
Remove the sausage and toss in the crockpot with the beans.
Add the onion, peppers, garlic, and celery to the drippings in the skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan and pour this, the butter and the vegetables into the slow cooker.
Add the ham hock (or diced ham), bay leaves, and half the creole seasoning. Stir and squish the ham hock under the liquid.
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours.
Remove the bay leaves and season with remaining Creole seasoning and black pepper.
Serve over rice if desired.