While you are correct in saying Hoppin' John originated in the low country, you did forget to add another tradition of the low country. Gotta have the She Crab Soup!
Here is my recipe I use for Hoppin' John which is from the cookbook 'Four Great Southern Cooks." These ladies, descended from those who cooked in the grand plantations of the white-columned old South homes, know how to cook. They also know "Southern Cooking" means warmth, simplicity and hospitality.
1 medium sized onion, peeled and left whole
1/2 lb. salt pork
2 ham hocks
1/2 lb dried black-eyed peas
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c. long grain rice
Lightly fry the salt pork, add the ham hocks, dried peas, the whole onion and red pepper. Pour in just enough water to cover, put a lid on the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the salt pork and ham hocks. Stir in the rice and cover. Remove any meat from the ham hocks and return to the pea/rice mixture. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.
For She Crab Soup, use crab meat, butter, flour lemon, light cream, sherry, and Tabasco. Better yet. Jump in the car and head to the low country.
See you there! Hey, and bring along some Mint Julep tea, too!