Puer's Pinto Beans

First place dry beans in a collander and rinse carefully to remove any dirt or contaminents that may have gotten on them before they were packaged. We don't plan to rinse them after the initial cooking stage (as is often done) so we need them to be clean first.
Next place the beans and water in a crockpot, and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. The time spent cooking here isn't a major concern, as long as it is close enough. The beans should become soft and should become a uniform light brown color (they should have been mottled tan and brown before cooked). Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook again 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. The beans should darken slightly and the entire mix should become fairly uniform in color. Be careful that the bottom doesn't burn during this second cooking cycle.
I usually use "petite" diced tomatoes. There's no real difference except that they are cut finer, so it mixes a little better. I also often use diced tomatoes that have peppers or other seasonings in them, but I haven't really noticed a significant taste difference.
I use a 4 qt crockpot, but as long as it is big enough to hold the water it should be OK. A 1½ quart crock pot might be a little too small, but I think even a 2½ should be enough.
If you cook this longer, it will eventually become thick, like refried beans, and as the beans break down it will begin to taste more like my chili recipe. The main concern is that they don't actually burn. They may even begin to blacken on top, but as long as the bottom isn't burned, they will be fine.