Fry the strips of bacon over medium-high heat just until golden brown. Set aside and drain off the bacon drippings, keeping 2 tablespoons. Chop the bacon.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over all the chicken thighs, and sear them over medium-high heat until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate. Drain off some of the drippings again, keeping 2 tablespoons. Sauté the onions in the drippings until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Put the potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay the bacon, onions, and chicken on top of the vegetables, and add the soaked navy beans, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Pour the chicken broth and tomatoes with the juice on top. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove the chicken pieces and pull the skin and meat off the bones, then shred the meat and return it to the slow cooker. Stir in the corn kernels and cook the stew for 1 more hour. Serve and stir in Tabasco as desired.