Rinse, pick over, and place the peas in a large bowl. Cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight.
Pour the water into a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the bouillon cubes and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the bouillon. Stir in the peas, reduce heat, and bring to a simmer.
Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Melt the butter in the pan with the bacon grease; cook and stir the onions until they begin to turn brown at the edges, about 10 minutes. Stir the onions and cooking fat into the peas; add the crumbled bacon, ham, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the peas over low heat for 8 hours, stirring every hour.
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