1. Wash and drain the beans and place in a large heavy stock pot and cover by about 2 inches with water (about 3 quarts of water). Bring to a boil, cover, turn off the heat and let stand covered for one hour. Drain the liquid after the hour and add the beans to a heavy stock pot.
2. Preheat the oven to 375° F
3. Add the stock, water, onions, celery, bell pepper and bay leaf to the pot with the beans.
4. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Do not stir more than necessary but do not let it stick to the bottom of the pot either.
5. Once that is going, slice the sausage in half lengthwise and place on a rack over a foil covered baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the sausage is crispy to render the fat from the sausage. And don't worry, the sausage will plump right back up as soon as you put it in the liquid.
6. When the sausage is done, cut it in 1/2" slices and add to the pot.
7. After the 1 1/2 hours, stir in the thyme, oregano, garlic powder, and the cayenne, white and black pepper.
8. Continue to simmer the beans uncovered for 45 minutes or more until beans are tender and thick. As the beans get softer, you can mush some of them with the back of your spoon to make it thicker if you want but it should thicken nicely by itself.
9. Remove from the heat and let rest for 15-30 minutes before serving.