Pick over beans; rinse well.
Heat oil in a frying pan or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
Add all the ingredients to a 5-quart slow cooker and turn it to the highest setting. Cover and cook on high at least 8 hours.
Remove bay leaves. Before serving, you can blend with a hand mixer or hand-held submersible blender until the mixture is thick, with beans, onion and peppers visible. I like mine chunky so I don't blend.