Cover peas with water.
Allow to soak several hours, or overnight.
In a large saucepan, combine peas with water and salt.
Simmer over medium low heat 1 hour, or until peas are tender.
Drain peas, reserving 2 cups liquid.
Saute' bacon, onion, and bell pepper until bacon is crisp.
DO NOT DRAIN.
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine peas, reserved liquid, the saute' mixture, rice, pepper, parsley, and tomatoes.
Cover and simmer 1 hour, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is thoroughly cooked.
*This recipe makes about 9 cups of Hoppin' John.*