Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain beans.
Combine the beans, 8 cups water, and next 4 ingredients (8 cups water through bay leaves) in pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Stir in the sliced carrot, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove bay leaves, and discard. Remove the ham hocks, and shred meat, discarding fat and gristle. Return the meat to pan.
Note: To quick-soak the beans, sort and wash beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans.