Wash the peas in a strainer, and soak them for 4 hours in ample fresh water.
When peas are ready, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 4-quart pot; add onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, red pepper, black pepper, smoked paprika, bay leaf, and liquid smoke, and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Add water/broth and bring to a boil.
Let mixture boil 10 minutes, and then add peas. Maintain a low boil, uncovered, until peas are nearly tender, about 25 minutes. Add tomatoes to pot. Add rice, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30-50 minutes (depending on rice used). If using brown rice, you may need to add an additional cup or so of liquid during this time.
Turn off flame, and allow Hoppin' John to steam in pot, lid on, for 5 minutes. Fluff Hoppin' John and serve with greens, cornbread and hot sauce.