Place the butter beans in a pot. Cover with 1 inch of water and stir in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring the pot to a boil on high, then turn off the heat and cover the pot and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
After the beans have soaked for 20 minutes, add to the pot the bay leaf and ham hock. Cover the pot and place it in the oven and cook covered for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook until tender, about 15-30 minutes, depending on the beans. Remove the pot from the oven.
Take the ham hock out of the pot, and remove the rind and bone, then dice the meat. Stir the meat back into the pot, then add the pepper vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning.