For this demonstration I am soaking about 4 cups of black beans. I added 8 cups of water.
At about two hours later the beans were at the top of the bowl and the water was almost completely absorbed. I changed out the water, it was pretty black. Six hours later the beans had absorbed some more water and were ready to go into the crock pot. I rinsed the beans out in a colander. I put the beans into the empty crock pot and added enough clean new water to cover them. For a tiny bit of flavor I added 4 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Now the beans just cook away into the crock pot for about 8 hours on low. This is something you have to plan ahead for dinner the night before.
If you like having beans on hand for dinner right away try freezing them. I froze my in an ice cube tray. Whenever you want beans simply throw some bean cubes into a microwave safe bowl or heat over the stove top carefully stirring through the whole process.
CHECK IT OUT! I dehydrated a few cups of crock pot cooked beans. Here is how I did it.
First you do the soak, cook in the crock-pot and cool, then spread your beans on a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate on medium for about 4 hours or until they are completely dry.
Just because they can be dehydrated doesn't mean that they taste great. It would work in a cataclysmic disaster as food but I would rather have them thawed out from frozen than re-hydrated. The taste is lacking, Just say-en. It could possibly work in a soup mix if the beans weren't the main flavor carrier.