The 25-year-old came through the youth ranks at Tottenham before loan spells at Leyton Orient and, most recently, MLS side San Jose Earthquakes for the last two years before Paul Lambert recruited him until the end of the season.
Dawkins, who had never featured in the Spurs first team and had 14 goals and three assists in 53 games with the Earthquakes, hopes to continue his stay in the Premier League after making four appearances for the Villans in their battle to avoid the drop.
"I hope I can have an impact here with Aston Villa," Dawkins told the club’s official website. "I'm still learning but I'd like to make as much impact as possible. I would definitely like to stay here beyond the end of the season.
"Villa have given me this opportunity. They came calling and wanted to sign me and they have given me my chance in the Premier League. Now I want to show my loyalty and give everything I can."
Villa currently sits 18th in the Premier League, with Wigan Athletic's superior goal difference keeping the club in the bottom three, and with a trip to 19th-placed Reading to come on Saturday, Dawkins is keen to show his worth to his teammates.
"The most important thing is to help the team avoid relegation because this team doesn't belong anywhere but the Premier League," Dawkins said. "Whatever I can do to help will be good and that's what I'm striving towards. This is a big club with big players and we shouldn't be where we are. We have to stick together to get out of it."