This paper is focused on the design and analysis of power control procedures for the uplink of multipath code-division-multiple-access (CDMA) channels based on the large system analysis (LSA). Using the tools of LSA, a new decentralized power control algorithm aimed at energy efficiency maximization and requiring very little prior information on the interference background is proposed; moreover, it is also shown that LSA can be used to predict with good accuracy the performance and operational conditions of a large network operating at the equilibrium over a multipath channel, i.e. the power, signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINK) and utility profiles across users, wherein the utility is defined as the number of bits reliably delivered to the receiver for each energy-unit used for transmission. Additionally, an LSA-based performance comparison among linear receivers is carried out in terms of achieved energy efficiency at the equilibrium. Finally, the problem of the choice of the utility-maximizing training length is also considered. Numerical results show a very satisfactory agreement of the theoretical analysis with simulation results obtained with reference to systems with finite (and not so large) numbers of users.