If using dry beans, add beans to slow cooker and cover with water. Let sit for 8-12 hours.
Drain water and rinse beans thoroughly.
For dry beans, add beans and ham hock to slow cooker, add water (5-6 cups for dry beans), and turn heat to high.
If using canned beans, drain and rinse and add to slow cooker. Add 3 cups water and ham hock and turn heat to high.
Cook for 5-6 hours on high, checking every few hours to make sure there is enough liquid.
When beans are softened, remove ham hock from slow cooker to let cool on a large plate.
Meanwhile, add tomato paste, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and molasses to beans and blend in thoroughly.
When ham hock is somewhat cooled, separate the meat from the bone and fat and cut into small pieces and add back to slow cooker.
Cover and cook for another ½ to 1 hour to blend flavors.
NOTE: If there is a lot of liquid, you may need to keep slow cooker uncovered during last step to allow some of the liquid to dissipate and the beans to thicken. Otherwise, cover for the last step. Uncovering will allow the mixture to thicken while still allowing the same flavor to prevail. Try to avoid removing any of the liquid, as it may cause the recipe to be diluted and less flavorful.